The TUSD Governing Board gave the green light Tuesday night to a $300,000 marketing campaign, part of an effort to increase enrollment and improve the district’s public image.
Tucson Unified School District will contract with an outside vendor, Tucson-based Gordley Group, to advertise its successes and quality programs.
The campaign was approved 4-1 with board member Mark Stegeman voting against it.
While the majority of the board supported the expenditure, many called for finding ways to reduce the cost, including using in-house services.
“There’s no arguing that TUSD could use a little bit of makeover as far as PR goes,” said board member Cam Juarez, arguing that many positives in TUSD are often lost in all the conversation about the district.
But he also noted the negative that millions of dollars had to be cut from schools and programs to eliminate a $17 million deficit, so he urged district officials to do what they can to lower the cost.
Prior to the vote, the Governing Board heard from Marivel Roybal, a TUSD teacher who said the focus needs to be on valuing employees, not marketing.
“You have your priorities wrong,” Roybal said. “When you can show me that I don’t have to use my own paycheck to supply my classroom, then maybe I can trust. ... That $300,000 could be better spent in a classroom.”
Read more of this story Wednesday in the Arizona Daily Star and on StarNet.