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Expansion of A-rated Rose Elementary and University High Schools
After years of discussion in TUSD, concerning whether University High School (UHS) should admit out-of-district students, Mark successfully advocated for this change. TUSD profits from such admissions, which help to offset the revenues lost when students who live in TUSD enroll in out-of-district schools. Students who live in TUSD and pass the UHS admissions exam still always have priority over out-of-district students. UHS has been able to accommodate the extra students because Central administration (finally) allowed its enrollment to increase; it is still smaller than Rincon high school, with which it shares the site, but the difference is smaller.
Dr. Fagen’s administration originally proposed to allow TUSD’s outstanding south side elementary school, Rose Elementary, to expand to a K-8 school. This was controversial on the Board, despite strong neighborhood support. Mark was the strongest Board advocate for the change, which eventually passed 3-2. Despite serving a low-income neighborhood, Rose has now been rated “A” for two years in a row by the Arizona Department of Education.
As TUSD moves toward decisions to close some schools and possibly expand others, Mark will advocate strongly for focusing on current academic performance. TUSD has not yet shown that it can reliably create excellent schools; therefore, it is important to preserve schools that are working well.