The Main Stream

Aug 15, 2012 2:04 AM by Sean Mooney

TUSD Board looks for group effort to solve budget crisis

TUCSON - With a $17 million shortfall looming with the 2013 budget, parents, teachers and community leaders are all wondering what the future holds for the Tucson Unified School District. On Tuesday, the TUSD Governing Board presented a master plan that is going to give everyone involved a say.

The plan includes three phases. The first phase, best described as the exploratory phase, will be a series of 3 town hall meetings beginning next week. The purpose is to get the publics ideas on where the board should make cuts and get input on the future of the district.

After the town hall meetings, focus groups and site councils, involving district staff, community leaders and parents, will continue to meet through October. The groups will pare down various scenarios on where to make cuts and where to spend existing funding. Eventually the plans will be presented to the board and they will make the final decision on all recomendations in December.

With so much at stake the overall mission is to have the public involved throughout the entire process. "There is no single program that costs $17 million at TUSD so we couldn't cut a single program," said TUSD Program Manager, Bryant Nadine. "If we were to just cut positions we have to cut nearly 300 positions. If we were just to cut schools would have to cut over 20 schools. It's major".

The governing board is hoping that everyone who has an interest in the future of TUSD will come out next week to one of the town hall meetings and let their voices be heard.

The town hall meetings are scheduled as follows:

Sahuaro High School Auditorium, Monday, August 20, 6:30-8:30 pm. 545 N. Camino Seco.
Cholla High Magnet High School Auditorium, Wednesday, August 22, 6:30-8:30 pm. 2001 W. Starr Pass Blvd.
Catalina Magnet High School Auditorium, Saturday, August 25, 10 am - 12 pm. 3645 E. Pima Street.

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