Friday, July 1, 2011

Running Scared

Recently, Tucson Unified School District (TUSD), closed down several of our local school facilities due to a lack of funds. They entertained offers and ideas from the community about what they could do with the facilities.

Included in these offers were proposals to purchase some of the facilities by local Charter Schools, another form of public school that we have in Arizona.

It seems that TUSD is concerned about selling the facilities to the Charter Schools. It sounds like it is because they are afraid these schools will thrive where they have not.

Here are a couple of thoughts from TUSD as reported by our local paper:

Despite the high offers, TUSD Governing Board Clerk Judy Burns isn't too keen on the idea of negotiating with charter schools.

"Personally, my feeling is if we couldn't sustain a school there, we shouldn't give someone else the opportunity to do so," Burns said. "For me, the focus is what would be to the liking of the neighborhood - what would fit with the community? Any monetary gain would be welcome, but that's not the primary reason."

TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone also is hesitant to sell property to a charter school.

"When you consider selling to an organization that may be in competition with you, that requires careful consideration because you lose that asset, and sometimes a fast dollar may not be the best investment," Pedicone said. "We have to balance the value to the district and the value to the community."

They also have some offers to lease the facilities at the rate of $1.00 a year. Perhaps, in keeping with the financial policies of the past, they should go with the $1.00 option.

Here is the link to the article:

Charter schools offer millions for closed TUSD buildings

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