Michael Hicks


An effort to recall TUSD Governing Board member Michael Hicks is under way.

The campaign, launched Friday, is led by David A. Morales - a blogger for TucsonCitizen.com and supporter of TUSD's Mexican American Studies program.

In his petition for the recall effort, Morales identified himself as president of an organization called Citizens for Educational Excellence.

Morales is charged with collecting 23,542 valid signatures by July 7 in order to get the initiative on the ballot.

A statement submitted by Morales with the petition called Hicks "a detriment to public education in the city of Tucson."

Hicks responded to the recall effort in a Facebook post, calling Morales "radical" and saying the initiative is designed to stop the work that needs to be done for schools.

"It's unfortunate that a small group of individuals have made the decision to put the district, students, faculty and staff in turmoil," Hicks said in an interview Monday. "I ran for the school board to help make the district better; I was supported by an overwhelming majority of voters and I will continue to do that work."

Hicks was elected to the board in November 2010.

Hicks has been vocal about his concerns over the Mexican American Studies program and has called for it to be suspended.

In January, amid a threat of the loss of millions of dollars in state funding, Hicks made a motion to end the program - a motion that was supported by a 4-1 vote.

Hicks has also been criticized for a comment he made as a guest on a radio talk show, comparing University of Arizona Mexican-American Studies faculty who participated in a teach-in involving TUSD students at the UA to the reported incidents of child sex abuse at Penn State.

"His behavior shows he does not have the interests of all members of the Tucson educational community," Morales wrote. "Rather than seek solutions or reconciliation, he chooses to criticize."

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