TUSD’s Diversity Drama


Alex Stone, Opinions Editor

69% of TUSD students are Black or Hispanic. 66% of TUSD teachers are White. This more than minor gap has plagued the district for years, and the courts have finally put their foot down.

TUSD has been court ordered by U.S. District Judge David Bury to increase the diversity of its teaching staff by the 2017-2018 school year.

These changes will be affecting more than 30% of TUSD schools. This includes elementary, middle, and high schools, though 31 of the schools are elementary or K-8.  The plan of action to increase diversity will include pushing for teachers to transfer by offering promotions and financial bonuses, and denying teacher’s transfer requests if they mess up the balance.

Although many teachers think the ruling is unfair and limiting, TUSD Superintendent H. T. Sanchez is hoping for the best. “I think it has the potential as it’s written, if we can make it work, to have a positive impact. I don’t see it as a negative to have greater diversity on campuses.”
Back home at Sahuaro, we asked Junior Francisco ‘Frankie’ Acuña, President of Latinos Unidos, to weigh in on the matter.

Q: How do you personally feel about TUSD’s lack of diversity in it’s teachers?

A: It’s definitely there. I would like to see more diversity among the teachers, I think it would really encourage students to go out and educate themselves, because I think that when you can connect yourself to a role model, it helps you to be able to see like ‘yeah, maybe that can work for me’. A lot of the times when you have a white teacher, or a white person who has gone to college and everything has worked out well for them, it’s like yeah well, they’re white, so they have a little more privilege than I do, but I think that if you have a Latin person or a Black person or Asian or whatever ethnicity they might be, it’s easier to relate to, they understand the struggle.

CTE Instructional Specialist Jaki Bryant isn’t fond of the order, because the lack of diversity is accidental. “[The hiring process] has nothing to do with the color of your skin, it deals with your ability. Everything is based on merit.” But whether or not you agree with the ruling, you can’t deny that the numbers just don’t add up.

This amazing infographic map, created by the Arizona Daily Star, shows exactly which schools are lacking diversity.