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Citing health concerns, TUSD cancels in-person graduation ceremonies

Posted at 10:55 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 01:57:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson Unified School District's School Board has approved using $6.8 million dollars of the 'Red for Ed' fund to pay for raises, district-wide.

A district spokesperson told KGUN9, how that amount is distributed, will be left to a number of teacher's organizations.

District Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo also outlined why the district decided to cancel planned in-person graduations.

"Just today, June 2nd, Arizona recorded it's highest increase in COVID-19 cases in a single day since February."

He says the district is deferring to health officials on that decision.

"As difficult as it is, as frustrated as parents are, as frustrated as the students are, I cannot put the interest and the safety of the public well-being in front of our need to host a personal graduation ceremony on that scale."

Then they moved past graduation to a review of the states roadmap for next year, and how the district will spend $18.6 million dollars in "CARES ACT" relief funds.

Trujillo said those millions could be spent on plexiglass barriers and personal protective equipment.

"It's also for shoring up our Wi-Fi infrastructure to strengthen our distance learning and our online learning structure that we already have for students."

All too important to giving parents some peace of mind heading into a new academic year.

A survey, he said, was conducted by the district gave them some impression of parent-sentiment heading into the summer.

"It's telling us that there's about 25-percent of the 12 to 13-thousand parental respondents that have noted clearly on their survey that they don't feel comfortable yet physically returning to school."