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Feb 26, 2013 1:05 AM by Sean Mooney

TUSD Chief gives State of the District Address

TUCSON - There are plenty of parents in Tucson Unified School District concerned about the state of the system educating their children.

TUSD is short $17 million for the next school year. To help bridge the gap the governing board voted to close 11 schools last month. This month a federal court ordered the district to again revamp its ethnic studies program.

On Monday, at Tucson High Magnet School, TUSD Superintendent, John Pedicone, gave an overall assessment in his State of the District Address.

In his speech there were no earth shaking announcements or astounding statistics touting achievement. Instead Superintendent Pedicone's state of the district address covered small achievements including a twelve percent increase in kindergarten enrollment, a five percent increase in students taking advanced placement classes, a court approved unitary plan and bond money coming into the district.

Forward progress but for some parents, like Ed Hall, not enough, "They have a big problem and they are working on it, trying to figure out solutions on how to come up with solutions", said Hall. "I have a lot of personal opinions that I am certainly not going to convey here."

These are clearly tough times for TUSD but according to Dr. Pedicone it is a district that keeps accumulating small victories, "We have made strong strides in terms of improving achievement and we have several other wins that I believe very strongly are indicative of what people can expect to see in the future."

In the meantime the $17 million budget deficit still looms. It is actually around $19 million with TUSD hoping to have a $2 million cushion. The governing board meets again Tuesday to try and come up with the remaining cuts.

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