Draining the swamp at any place is always a tough thing to do, and due to a motion by TUSD board member Mark Stegeman, that process has now begun at 1010.
Tuesday’s board meeting demonstrated a great example of the elitism present by Democrats on the school board; maybe it is just their love for people with money. Meeting after meeting we see substitute teachers pleading for better treatment after TUSD outsourced them to a private corporation that pays them less and gives them no benefits. They continue to be ignored and this may be due to the fact that as they presented themselves, a long-term sub working every day of the school year gets less than a minimum-wage employee. Thus they have no money and can safely be ignored by Kristel Foster and Adelita Grijalva.
However, in this town that does not have many high-paying jobs, the creation of Administrative positions that make 6-figures, or very close to the $100,000 mark, allows close friends to be “hooked up” with these jobs that quite frankly could be done away with and certainly do not require such high salaries.
Now, these are the folks that you can see kicking back their salaries in the form of campaign donations to Democrats. Mary Alice Wallace is a prime example of this, who works in the Governing Board office and gave hundreds of dollars to Kristel and Cam Juarez in their re-election campaigns last year, but nothing to Mark Stegeman who is also one of her five bosses. Knowing that her time is coming to an end, she is now claiming to be the victim of harassment.
What happened Tuesday?
Above is a list of 18 Administrators that still had not had their contracts renewed for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1st. Their current contracts end June 30th.
From the Arizona Daily Star:
The central administration of Tucson’s largest school district is experiencing more turbulence amid its search for a new leader.
Two senior administrators — Abel Morado, an assistant superintendent, and Karla Soto, chief financial officer — are headed out the door, and 18 directors’ contracts were altered to give the school board power to remove them without cause after December.
(Article continued below)
The other 18 Administrators had their contracts renewed, but Adelita and Kristel voted against the contracts because of the addition of some new language:
Employee understands and agrees that if the Governing Board determines that effectuating economies in the District or improving the efficient conduct and administration of the schools or the District require a reduction in force during the term of this Contract, the Governing Board may terminate this Contract with a severance payment ten (10) weeks’ pay or pay for the actual number of weeks remaining in the Contract, whichever is less.
To summarize, in the past the Administrator contracts were for one full year. Now the Board is saying that they can fire any of these administrators for any reason without cause at any time except for the first 6 months. The way we interpret this is that unless these administrators demonstrate that their position is absolutely vital and worth the $100,000 salary plus benefits, they might want to start looking for another job.
It is clear that long-term subs are absolutely vital to TUSD, and they get nowhere near this package paid for by the taxpayers of TUSD.
Adelita and Kristel had impassioned responses, defending these overpaid administrators who were now being held accountable, yet continued to turn a deaf ear to the substitute teachers once again. This will be the topic of an upcoming article.
While we thought that most of the administrators could be done away with, we were sad to see someone such as Janet Rico Uhrig leave the district. Luckily there was a workaround for her and Irene Weatherless, so they are not under the contract stated above since they have been reassigned to different consolidated positions.
Two people who many in the community thought should leave the district were the overpaid and clueless CFO Karla Soto and head of HR Anna Maiden. They are both leaving the district and now the jobs they had will be taken over by the Executive Director of Finance, who is now Irene Weatherless, and the Executive Director of Human Resources, who is now Janet Rico Uhrig.
So all in all, this was a brilliant strategy to bring change to 1010.
This will also go to show that TUSD will continue to function without these people at 1010 should they leave this coming up year. TUSD shuts down overnight if teachers don’t show up to work, but TUSD will continue to chug along without the cronyism that runs deep with Pima Democrats in charge of local government.
Also published on Medium.