Judge Orders Appointment of Deseg Implementation Committee

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U.S. District Court Judge David Bury officially ordered on Monday, July 15 the appointment of Vicki Balentine, Rebecca Montano and Edward Thompson to the Tucson Unified School District unitary status plan's implementation committee.

Judge Bury's order:

ORDER_Appointing_Vicki_Balentine_Ph.D.__Rebecca_Montano_Ed.D._and_Edward_Thompson_Ph.D._to_the__Implementation_Committee.pdf

The idea of the implementation committee is to assist court-appointed special master Willis Hawley in monitoring the implementation of the USP in three ways:

1) monitoring implementation of “assurances” relating to school closings and boundary changes, including the District’s development of review and consultation guidelines and procedures for Plaintiffs and the Special Master; 2) monitoring the Districts’ development of and compliance with procedural benchmarks for implementing USP programs and provisions, and 3) with respect to programs that are in the implementation phase, on-going monitoring of program implementation to make annual review of program effectiveness more meaningful.

The only concern we've heard so far is that the committee is expected to work one day a week, which may not be enough time to devote to the plan, especially right before school starts. The committee members will be paid $75 per hour.

The candidates according to the order:

The three candidates proposed for appointment are outstanding members of the Tucson community. Dr. Balentine and Dr. Montano have both worked with the Tucson Unified School District, and Dr. Thompson, holds a Ph.D in Political Science and has a wealth of administrative experience.

In the order it notes that TUSD did not object to the candidate credentials, but the role of the committee and that the "scope of the work proposed for the IC exceeds the authority of the Special Master." The Mendoza and Fisher plaintiffs didn't file objections, but told Bury they wanted a broader role given to the committee.

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