Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) 3-7-2023 meeting
Due to the content discussed in the Study Sessions, the public can attend, but are not allowed to provide any comments.
Highlights from this meeting included a presentation by a local attorney who discussed the possibility of SUSD filing a lawsuit against social media platforms, such as TikTock, Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook and YouTube. The potential claims in the lawsuit would include the harmful practices of these companies, which are considered to be at the detriment of the mental health of the students. The lawsuit’s goal is not to shut down these platforms, but to stop the harmful agenda which target kids. The attorney explained that there is no cost upfront to SUSD, and the attorneys would only be compensated if they prevail in Court. Similar lawsuits have been filed by both the Mesa and Seattle Public School Districts. Further discussion regarding this potential lawsuit was taken into Executive Session, which the general public cannot attend. Later in the evening, the Board voted unanimously to approve the attorney engagement and contingency fee arrangement to authorize and initiate litigation against these platforms.
The Board voted unanimously to uphold the District’s decision to retain an Arcadia High School PE teacher, who was caught on videotape viewing sexually explicit images of women on November 30, 2022. Apparently, parents complained and were told that the District had resolved the issue. An appeal was made by the parents, who were again told that the issue had been resolved. A second appeal was made, which elevated the issue to be decided upon by the Governing Board. This issue was also discussed during the Executive Session that evening. The Board’s decision includes the teacher giving a public apology to the students affected and parents who filed the complaint, along with taking ownership for his behavior.
According to Arizona Revised Statute 15-514, the Superintendent has a responsibility to report this type of behavior to the State Board of Education, but it is unclear as to whether this was ever done. Please see link below for additional information on this matter.
Finances were discussed for the 2024 proposed maintenance and operations school budget, which is estimated at $184,733,377.00. 2023’s budget is $183,070,649.00. The additional cost for next year is due to the increase in the cost of goods. This is a proposed budget for operations and maintenance only for 2024, which was approved by the Board.
A representative from the Native American Education Program gave an update on their recent activities, including college readiness and cultural night. The program’s budget was also discussed which encompasses money from Title VI of approximately, $115,000. A separate grant provides an additional $59,000. A discussion was held as to how to grow this program and provide the students additional tools to complete their studies and to graduate.
Other discussions included language to employee contracts and compensation increases for all employees, including both classified and certified. The language updates and all increases were approved unanimously by the Board.