Relatively calm TUSD board meeting

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Recent school board meetings at TUSD headquarters have contained more theatrics than issues. Tuesday night, board members hoped to get back to business as usual.

There was no sign Tuesday night of the drama witnessed in the last two weeks. The extra security was in place and that allowed board members to get some work done.

Before the board convened, ethnic studies supporters vowed to keep up the pressure and denounce a proposed compromise to make the courses an elective.

"The group Unidos asked for the community to come and support.  I think their intent is to continue the momentum to make sure the issue remains on everbody's mind," said Mexican American Studies Advisory Board member Miguel Ortega.

Inside it was a packed house. The crowd not as loud. The only student sitting at a board chair was the student liaison.  Superintendent John Pedicone did speak about the ethnic studies program for a bit.

"Friday we have a convening meeting with community from across the city.  Hopefully we can speak specifically about some of the issues we have dealt with lately," said Superintendent Pedicone.

Supporters of the ethnic studies program have concerns about that proposed forum.

"It's incorporating several other issues, SB 1070 and other issues.  What we want to talk about right now is ethnic studies the Mexican-American studies program," said Ortega.

But it wouldn't be a TUSD board meeting if there wasn't a small riff between the board members. As they talked about adding more time to the call to the audience.

"What your explaining here we are going to be here on the call to the audience for another 15 to 20 minutes," said TUSD board member Judy Burns. 

"It is my prerogative in this position to extend the audience call," said TUSD board member Mark Stegeman.

One of the issues the board did address was the future of Palo Verde and Rincon High Schools.