Paradise Valley Unified
Big win in PVUSD: members approved a measure pushing non-agenda-related public comments to the end of the meeting.
This means that people who show up simply to grandstand about issues like bathrooms, the Bible, or “obscene” books will now have to wait until after the actual business of the meeting to talk. (Public comments about things actually on the agenda will still take place at the normal times.)
The change highlights an apparent trend of moderate conservative board members coming to their senses about out-of-control school board discourse. Conservative Board Member Nancy Case made a strong and informed case for keeping meetings focused (one clueless individual in the gallery helped proved her point by arguing with her out of turn). Fellow conservative Tony Pantera agreed with Case, saying he received emails from constituents 2-1 in favor of the change. The board ultimately voted yes 5-1, with Member Sandra Christensen voting no.
We’re in favor of public comments at every meeting, but with extremist board members rallying their followers online about issues not even happening in the district, this makes sense!
Constituents can email the governing board to let them know what you think.
Would-be Christian nationalist agent Rebecca Hill attended her last meeting before resigning. She and the district's other supposed "parental choice" advocate Heather Rooks tried futilely to give parents fewer choices about their kid's health care by opposing a partnership with Maricopa County to offer free vaccine clinics. The motion passed with support from Members David Sandoval, Bill Sorensen, and Melissa Ewing. (Click names to email.)
You helped make Hill’s resignation happen, and you’re in good company. The Peoria Education Association, the union representing educators in the district, released a statement celebrating Hill’s resignation, saying “Hill showed complete disregard for her responsibilities and her oath of office as an elected school board member.” (Fun fact: more than 400 Peoria educators signed a letter in May calling for Hill's resignation!)
The district is seeking interested individuals who meet the minimum requirements and are willing to serve on the board through Dec. 31, 2024. Prospective candidates will need to complete the application and deliver it in-person to the Peoria Unified School District Office, 6330 W. Thunderbird Rd., Glendale, during regular business hours by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023.
To view the application and timeline, visit www.peoriaunified.org/GoverningBoard.
Deer Valley Unified
President Paperman and VP Fisher displayed once again how little they understand how school boards work. A surprise agenda addition sparked debates on transparency, with extremist members — for some mysterious reason — pushing to spend tens of thousands of dollars for a private firm to do satisfaction surveys for which the district already has a system.
The Board President and VP also promoted an agenda item which would have made the district pay for attorneys’ fees they accrue for violating Open Meeting Law by posting on social media.
They lost both these fights, thanks in part to moderate conservatives who bucked the TPUSA bandwagon.
The board took no action (yet) on whether to introduce a stricter dress code as a response to a sexual molestation scandal — a move that has been criticized as blaming victims, particularly girls.
Two members of the public made dynamite testimonies saying their own male children are perfectly capable of respecting girls regardless whether their midriffs are showing, and that it’s not reasonable to blame young women for the thoughts of boys and men. (Watch.) Members of the religious right were nowhere to be found.
The proposed dress code update is still tabled for further consideration. Concerned constituents can contact members (emails at the bottom of this page) and speak at the Sept 20th 5pm meeting at 2935 South Recker Road, Gilbert.