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Pima County has started approving contracts with school districts that will fund their free preschool program for low-income families, called PEEPS, with federal COVID relief from the 2021 American Rescue Plan. The switch is expected to bring and keep more teachers and open more classrooms. Read more»

Cars line up at the Pima Community College West Campus COVID-19 testing site in Tucson on Jan. 24, 2022. Employees of the clinical service provider eTrueNorth staffed the site.

Two COVID-19 testing sites funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency opened last week to mitigate the shortage of rapid testing in Pima County, a problem that’s especially acute for businesses and public schools. Read more»

With Tucson-area schools closed until at least March 30, some area school districts are preparing to offer "grab and go" meals for children beginning next week: Amphi, Flowing Wells & Catalina Foothills, as well as TUSD and Sunnyside. Read more»

As a special education assistant at Santa Clara Elementary, Laura Garcia assists students with such personal care tasks as eating, using the restroom and switching classrooms. She hopes to become a teacher through the pilot program Pathways to Teaching.

The University of Arizona and a neighboring school district are working on a pilot program to “grow” Tucson residents into teachers, offering free tuition and paying them $1,000 monthly stipends. Read more»

A head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) clings to a human hair.

Arizona is one of 25 states with lice populations that are highly resistant to over-the-counter treatments still widely recommended by doctors and schools, according to a new study. "The good news is head lice don’t carry disease," a researcher said. "They're more a nuisance than anything else." Read more»

Arizona served 1.1 million meals to children in low-income areas of the state last summer. That was still just a fraction of the number of kids who qualify for free or reduced-price meals during the school year, like those in this 2013 photo.

State officials hope to increase the number of free meals from the 1.1 million served last summer under the Summer Food Service Program. But they said one of the biggest challenges is putting meal sites where low-income kids can find them, and making kids want to come back. Read more»

Sunnyside Boardmember Buck Crouch holds up a chart May 13 while accusing Superintendent Manuel Isquierdo, far right, of fudging the numbers of high school graduates from the district.

In unwelcome news for Sunnyside's Manuel Isquierdo, two challengers beat the incumbents by a 3-1 margin in the district's recall election — one which will determine the fate of the controversial superintendent. Rebecca Quintero and Eric Giffin were handily leading recalled board members Bobby Garcia and Louie Gonzales. Read more» 1

Sunnyside Boardmember Buck Crouch holds up a chart while accusing Superintendent Manuel Isquierdo, far right, of fudging the numbers of high school graduates from the district.

An early-morning meeting of the Sunnyside Governing Board turned hot and heavy Tuesday, as Boardmember Buck Crouch accused Superintendent Manuel Isquierdo of fudging the numbers of high school graduates from the district. "He has intentionally falsified, misrepresented, or lied about the data," Crouch said. Isquierdo, the flash point for a recall election, dismissed the accusations as "political." (video) Read more»

Sunnyside Unified School District had a maintenance and operations budget override rejected by the public for the third time in a row this year. At this time, it does not matter why the voters rejected the override or by what margin, the reality is the district's budget needs to be cut. Read more»

Interviews with Barbara Brown of the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, Andrew Morrill of the Arizona Education Association, Easter Seals Blake Foundation CEO Ema Kammeyer, developer Richard Studwell, Sunnyside Governing Board member Buck Crouch, Arizona Capitol Times Editor Jim Small. Read more»

An interview with controversial Sunnyside Superintendent Manuel Isquierdo, plus Tucsoncitizen.com Administrator Mark B. Evans, Tucson Padres GM Mike Feder on the wind-up of Tucson baseball, financial advisor Shelly Fishman, and Middle East expert Prof. Stephen Zunes. Read more» 1

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, Republican Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, Sunnyside Governing Board member Buck Crouch, talk show host Emil Franzi, Ward 2 Tucson City Councilman Paul Cunningham. Read more»

Ward 2 Tucson City Councilman Paul Cunningham, President of the Southern Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce Clarence Boykins, TucsonsSentinel.com Editor and Publisher Dylan Smith, documentarian Daniel Buckley, and Ward 6 Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik Read more»

Interviews with Democratic state Sen. Steve Farley, Arizona League of Cities and Towns head Ken Strobeck, financial advisor Shelly Fishman, TUSD Boardmember Mark Stegeman, plus Larry Hecker, chairman of the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee, and Sunnyside Governing Board member Buck Crouch. Read more»

Isquierdo addresses the press about his contract extension.

The Sunnyside school board voted 3-2 Tuesday to extend the contract of Superintendent Manuel Isquierdo by two years. The move was controversial, with two Board members — Buck Crouch and Daniel Hernandez — outspoken in their opposition to the extension. The Board's refusal to hold a call to the audience was met with calls of "shame" and "we are going to recall you." Read more» 2

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