TUSD audit recommends more cuts, closures to save $37 million

2014-05-19T00:00:00Z 2014-07-17T14:27:56Z TUSD audit recommends more cuts, closures to save $37 millionBy Alexis Huicochea Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Tucson Unified School District could save more than $37 million if it fully implements recommendations from an external efficiency audit.

Much of the savings comes from significant, additional school closings and staff cuts, moves that are likely to generate controversy. Schools potentially on the chopping block were not identified in the audit.

The $300,000 audit, commissioned by TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez, contains dozens of recommendations, including closing nine elementary schools and two high schools and reducing both blue- and white-collar jobs, from finance staff to bus monitors.

Some of the recommendations to improve efficiency and management effectiveness are already underway, demonstrating a “culture of continuous self-improvement at TUSD,” auditors from the Gibson Consulting Group said.

Nonetheless, due to the ongoing exodus of students from the district — which has resulted in the loss of $50 million in funding — and continuous state budget cuts, there is a need to consider ways to reduce costs.

Here is a breakdown of how the savings can be achieved across Tucson’s largest school district over the next five years, according to the audit.

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

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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