EXPANSION OF A-RATED SCHOOLS
After years of discussion concerning whether University High School (UHS) should admit out-of-district students, Mark successfully advocated for this change, which occurred six years ago. This has allowed UHS to grow and enrich its offerings and brought funds into the district. The ethnic diversity of UHS has increased, not decreased, through this period. Students who live in TUSD and pass the UHS admissions exam still always have priority over out-of-district students.
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 was subsequently designated an Arizona “A+” school.
Mark and the entire board also supported the expansion of A-rated Borman elementary to K-8. This expansion was just approved by the desegregation court (June 2016). The board and court had already also approved the expansion of A-rated Drachman to K-8.
TUSD has not yet shown that it can reliably create excellent schools; therefore, it is important to preserve, and sometimes expand, schools that are working well.