This week’s Peoria (PUSD) meeting was…indescribable. But I know y’all are counting on me to describe it, so I’ll do my best.
And if you’re reading this, but you don’t have a paid subscription, help a sister out and upgrade your subscription to “paid” and support the work we do because I’m nearly positive that attending and monitoring these meetings is bad for my health.
This evening, there was a celebration of student artists in PUSD, so the meeting opened by highlighting the hard work of these students and their teachers. Once board reports were over (WITHOUT any complaints or bastardized versions of the district motto “every student, every day…” so that was a nice change), President Sandoval *wisely* encouraged all award recipients and their families that “now is a good time to leave” right before public comments. Agreed, Prez, those kids definitely didn’t need to be exposed to what came next.
I debated whether to write about Peoria (PUSD) or Paradise Valley (PVUSD) this week since both meetings happened on the same night. It is A LOT to subject oneself to, but I’m a glutton for punishment and I DID watch both meetings… so I’ll give a brief breakdown of both.
Did I mention that this is A LOT? (If you’re interested in helping us stay on top of what’s happening at these school board meetings, you can sign up to help here).
So let’s go ahead and start with PUSD. In case y’all forgot, your presence and willingness to email the PUSD board seemed to help accelerate the resignation of PUSD Board Member and homeschooling creationist, Rebecca Hill.
So thanks to everyone who stepped up to make that happen!
Another week, another board meeting. After witnessing first-hand the absolute WORST example of school board behavior that I have EVER seen, I had to come back to Deer Valley (DVUSD) to check out this week’s meeting. Spoiler alert: It was messy AF.
And it’s not just messy during the meetings. Because of this wave of ultra MAGA deplorables joining their local school boards, they’re essentially trained to behave like children not only at meetings, but online as well. So where professional board members will meet with their superintendents and maintain professional relationships with fellow board members, staff, students, and parents, these extremists tend to paint everything as a conspiracy theory, act as perpetual victims, and talk about non-agendized items online.
It was just the second Thursday of the month, so you know what that means! That’s right! The Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) governing board circus meeting was back in session!
Not only did I attend the PUSD board meeting, I also attended the Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) board meeting on 8/8/23. PLUS, I also watched Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD), Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD), and Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) online.
It’s the Monday after a Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) Governing Board meeting, so you know what that means… That’s right! I am reliving the hellscape that has become the biweekly meeting happening in the West Valley.
Buckle up, Buttercup, because it was one wild ride of procedural missteps, white supremacy, and fake electors (OH MY!).
The meeting started with a very normal public hearing about the budget. Despite attempts by white Christian nationalist board members to make everything seem like a conspiracy while they whine and cry about the lack of transparency in our public schools, every public district must make their budgets public. Interestingly enough, the same cannot be said for private schools where the students aren’t tested, the curriculum doesn’t require approval, and administrators can deny admission or employment for any reason at all.
And don’t even get me started on the lack of accountability for homeschoolers.
But there are just so many reliably WRONG things happening at your meetings every other week, and our members deserve to know about them. So buckle up, throw some Bailey’s in your coffee, and let’s break it all down.
Because this last meeting was a doozy.
And be sure to check your emails in the coming days, because on my way to the PUSD meeting, I was listening to public comments at the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) board meeting, and as soon as my stomach can handle it, I’ll be writing a breakdown of their Thursday meeting, where the tinfoil hat brigade was in full force.
Also, School Districts! Could you stop having your meetings on the same nights? Kthxbye.
Let’s get this (horrible, nightmarish) party started!
Join us on Friday, September 8 at noon for a discussion of the emergence and growing number of right-wing charter schools with Carol Burris, Executive Director of the Network for Public Education.
Carol Burris served as principal of South Side High School in the Rockville Centre School District in NY. She received her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University; her dissertation on equitable practices in mathematics instruction received the 2003 National Association of Secondary Schools’ Principals Middle LevelDissertation of the Year Award.
She was the 2010 School Administrators’ Association of New York State “Outstanding Educator of the Year,” and the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ 2013 “New York State High School Principal of the Year.” Carol serves as a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center., has published three books on educational equity, and authored or co-authored pieces in Educational Leadership, The Kappan, the American Educational Research Journal, Theory into Practice, The School Administrator and EdWeek.
On March 9th, 2023, at a routine Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) board meeting, a flock of parents showed up, wearing shirts with phrases like “protect our children.” Throughout the meeting, parents hurled insults at the board, superintendent, and administration, violating the public comment code of conduct.