TUSD to form own policy to deal with SB 1070

The Tucson Unified School District won't join the fight against Arizona's new immigration law.

The Governing Board had the opportunity Tuesday to sign a resolution to join litigation but elected instead to form its own policy.

The litigation would have been paid for by the League of United Latin American Citizens.

"The need to join litigation against SB 1070 has been somewhat negated by the federal government, I believe, wisely moving forward towards litigation against Arizona," board member Adelita Grijalva said. "What I'd like to suggest is moving toward the creation of a policy."

The policy is expected to send a clear message that TUSD won't enforce immigration laws, nor will it tolerate staff members asking about the status of students and their families, Grijalva said.

"That will send a clear message to our community that we are not supportive of, and will not be enforcing, that kind of discrimination on our campuses," she said.

SB 1070, which goes into effect on July 29, requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop on other matters when there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are in the U.S. illegally.

In other business, the Governing Board rejected going after another budget override in November. The idea was brought up because the district will have a Governing Board seat on the ballot, and the cost of adding the override question would be minimal.

Several board members voiced concern that voters would reject the initiative, especially after the adoption of Proposition 100 - the temporary 1-cent-per-dollar state sales tax increase.

More firms offer discounts to S. Arizona teachers

Southern Arizona-based companies are showing their support to local teachers by offering price breaks through an educational nonprofit agency's discount card.

The Tucson Values Teachers $10,000 for 10,000 card has added eight more business partners.

The program offers more than $10,000 in discounts to more than 10,000 K-12 district, private and charter school teachers in Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties.

"We're impressed by the generosity of these Southern Arizona-based businesses that have joined our ongoing effort," said Jacquelyn Jackson, executive director of the group. "Even though this isn't an easy time to be a teacher, we are doing everything we can to showcase how much the Tucson community cares."

Teachers can go to www.tucson valuesteachers.org to learn more.

Tucsonan wins Fulbright to teach in Bangladesh

A Tucson woman has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Bangladesh.

Olinda Hassan, who just graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, will teach English and explore gender disparities in education.

Hassan, a South Asian Muslim woman living in the United States, understands the challenges of learning a new language and will apply her own experiences to her teaching.

"My first two years in America were spent in ESL (English as a second language) in an urban neighborhood," she said. "Learning English and ultimately attending Wellesley could not have been possible without those teachers who gave me the confidence I needed."

While in Bangladesh, Hassan plans to create an after-school program for female students to discuss American stereotypes. She hopes it will create a space to engage women on a deeper level and help them get to know each other.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the State Department, gives students, scholars and others a chance to conduct international research, study or teach.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at 573-4175 or ahuicochea@azstarnet.com