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TUSD hopes to be done with desegregation suit soon

Says may get ruling by August
Posted at 8:36 PM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 00:25:04-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Tucson Unified School District hopes it will be done with a 41 year lawsuit soon.

The district hopes by this August it will be declared free of a desegregation lawsuit that influenced district operations since 1978.

The district says it will continue to uphold the requirements of the case.

Minority families filed the desegregation suit forty one years ago, to force the district to end schools separated by race. Now TUSD attorneys have filed motions urging the Federal judge in the case to declare the district unitary---effectively desegregated.

TUSD says it's achieved that goal, largely through magnet programs designed to attract students to specialized instruction and lead to voluntary integration of the schools.

Now TUSD's superintendent Gabriel Trujillo says the district's true fairness challenge is academic achievement for everyone.

"They have to do with erasing achievement gaps between African American, Latino and Anglo students, but every school district in southern Arizona every school district in Arizona has an achievement gap, and they have the same charge, we're saying we don't need to be under court supervision, to take the achievement gap seriously and to increase academic outcomes for all students.

The Superintendent says tax payers have been paying about 64 million dollars in special tax levied to cover costs related to the desegregation court orders but taxpayers could get a break if the case is closed.

"Slicing out all of the administrative costs and all the legal fees and all of the consultant fees that have really ballooned this budget up and have led to the $64 million dollar levy."

But Trujillo says TUSD will retain the part of the budget that supports the special dual language and gifted programs that helped desegregation happen.