The approval of H.T. Sanchez's contract to become the next superintendent of Tucson Unified School District will have to wait at least another day, after the district's Governing Board emerged from an unexpectedly long closed session to announce it was postponing any decision.

Another special TUSD Governing Board meeting has been called for 4:30 p.m. today.

No comment or explanation was given regarding the status of Sanchez's contract or why the closed-door session ran so much longer than expected.

But board member Kristel Ann Foster said the board couldn't continue Thursday's meeting because the members wanted to attend a summer graduation at Rincon High School.

The posted meeting agenda called for the board to meet in executive session from 5 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., then come out to publicly vote on a contract for Sanchez, who was the only identified finalist to replace outgoing Superintendent John Pedicone.

But the closed session continued until almost 6:30 before board President Adelita Grijalva announced to the small crowd of mostly media that the meeting was postponed.

Grijalva said the board will reconvene today in executive session before taking public action.

TUSD's board voted to hire Sanchez as superintendent last week.

Some board members from the Ector County (Texas) Independent School District, where Sanchez is interim superintendent, wanted to make a last-minute effort to keep the 38-year-old administrator.

That district has called a special meeting for Monday, where it will discuss naming Sanchez the lone finalist for the superintendent's position.

Sanchez, however, has said in recent interviews that he's focused on Tucson.

Contact reporter Jamar Younger at jyounger@azstarnet.com or 572-4242.