Dysart Unified Board Members Shouldn’t Face Backlash For Prioritizing Academics

Dysart Unified Board Members Shouldn’t Face Backlash For Prioritizing Academics

By Tiffany Benson |

Students in Arizona public schools are enduring an onslaught of corrupt curriculum and sexual advances from government employees. Innocence is all but lost in our current climate of drag queen story hours, mock gay weddings, and de facto transgender bathroom policies. Thankfully, education is making a comeback in Dysart Unified School District (DUSD).

In September 2023, four DUSD high schools were named 2023-2024 Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report. Three of the four were also named A+ Schools of Excellence by the Arizona Educational Foundation. Although DUSD has a lot of work to do, school board members across the Valley now have a model for governing with sense and sensibility.

Of course, every free-thinking, constitutional, conservative board member will have progressive dogs nipping at their heels. Such is the case with the uprising of emotional activists after DUSD opted to not renew Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.

Save Our Schools Arizona—a leftist group that identifies as a “nonpartisan community based organization”—led the campaign of oppression by posting a hack opinion editorial on social media. Anxiety-ridden constituents (including the director of an anti-God organization) manifested in the comment section with cries of outrage. Wow. I didn’t know saving Arizona schools meant converting every campus into psychiatric medical facilities!

Save Our Schools Arizona screenshot

With sensational clarity, Arizona’s Family reported that DUSD’s decision came amid “a fiery exchange after [board] members voted to eliminate the role of social workers within their school district.” Did anybody in the bullpen even watch the November 16 board meeting? I did. Of course, I don’t have a predisposition to rage, so I viewed it as a thoughtful discussion with differing opinions. Board Member Jo Grant blessed me with her deliberate and persistent, social-emotional vantage point. She got outvoted. Where’s the fire?

Board Members Dawn Densmore and Jennifer Drake personally assured me that because ESSER funds were drying up, it was in the district’s best interest not to renew without a financial plan to supplement looming deficiencies. They also confirmed the district would retain numerous student support positions, including psychologists, counselors, and behavior interventionists.

Densmore said, “For me…it’s not a slam on the profession of social workers. I genuinely don’t think all of them [have a leftist agenda]. But at the same time…places of education should not be healthcare institutions. If parents have children who go through issues where they need additional support—and I [personally] had one child who needed it—take them out of school and get them into counseling. I would have never expected the school to take care of that and replace me as a parent in that situation.”

Drake agreed, “It is the parent’s responsibility [to take care] of the health and wellbeing of their child—not the school. When a child is at school, their priority is safety and education. If your child needs mental health or medical services, then as a parent, it is your responsibility to provide that. The school can get outside resources, but having these services inside the school is unacceptable. Taxpayers should not be paying for this.”

Densmore and Drake also emphasized that educators should not bear the consequences of attendance deficits and low test scores when emotional needs become disruptive to learning environments.

In response to the small faction of obnoxious critics who branded DUSD “cruel” and “irresponsible,” Densmore and Drake said, “Parents need to start parenting. Stop using schools as a crutch—for vaccinations, for dental work, etc.…If your kid is sick, whether it’s physical or mental, take them to the doctor. If your kid is suffering mentally, why would you rely on a school [district] for something like that?”

I’ll wrap this up by pointing out that 2020 was America’s Enlightenment period where we discovered a supposed new and improved job function for social workers. According to the National Association of Social Workers, these mental health warriors are now equipped to practice a more inclusive, equitable, anti-racist approach. And they want us to rest assured that no matter what issues students face inside or outside the classroom, affirming their gender-identity and empathizing with their skin color is sure to be the cure.

Seriously, parents, why haven’t you pulled your kids out of Arizona public schools?

For nearly two decades, Tiffany Benson’s creative writing pursuits have surpassed all other interests. When she’s not investigating Kennedy Assassination conspiracy theories, she enjoys journaling and contributing to her blog Bigviewsmallwindow.com. She encourages average citizens to take on an active role in the grassroots fight for future generations.

ADE Spending Over $7 Million “To Simply Administer” COVID Funds Meant For Student Learning

ADE Spending Over $7 Million “To Simply Administer” COVID Funds Meant For Student Learning

By B. Hamilton |

PHOENIX — Rep. Michelle Udall, chair of the House Education Committee, sent a letter to Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction asking why the state is holding on to $85 million, that Udall says could help school districts avoid teacher layoffs.

Udall also noted in her letter to Superintendent Kathy Hoffman that “in addition to withholding these millions from our schools, ADE is also spending more than $7 million of it to simply administer the funds (the maximum allowed).”

Udall’s questions come in the wake of several districts announcing layoffs due to declining enrollment. Declining enrollment means declining funding as school dollars are allocated based on attendance.

“Unfortunately, as we see from the current events in Gilbert and other districts facing similar decisions in the coming weeks, this money has not been allotted where it is needed most,” wrote Udall referring to reports of teacher layoffs.

From the Yellow Sheet:

The AZ Dept of Education plans to use some of its Covid relief dollars for a marketing campaign to bring families back to the fold. The campaign, which will cost about $150,000, is aimed at students who left district and charter schools for alternative options during the pandemic or who delayed enrollment.”

“Instead of allocating all of the available money to districts who need it, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) is for some reason holding onto nearly $85 million of discretionary money from the initial $1.5 billion allotment that should be put to use to help stabilize Arizona schools so that they don’t have to make premature reductions in staffing when many of those students may be returning in the coming school year.

Across the state, districts are seeing dramatic declines in enrollment as parents go in search of educational opportunities other than the hybrid-online type that the teacher’s union pushed even as the pandemic waned, and evidence showed that children were not super-spreaders. In fact, over 55,000 K-12 students have disenrolled for the state’s traditional public schools.

Despite the decline, which has been occurring over a number of years and was only exacerbated by the teachers’ recent refusal to return to in-classroom learning, Udall believes that students may return, and premature layoffs would lead the districts to rely on long-term substitute teachers.

Even though the ADE has received over $1 billion in CARES Act ESSER and ESSER II funding, Udall told Hoffman that the Legislature “is currently working on a state budget that, I believe, will help alleviate the intense fiscal pressure some of these schools are facing.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Gilbert Public School District’s Fewer Students Results In Fewer Teachers

“But that won’t happen until the budget process is finished,” warned Udall. “You currently have on hand millions in discretionary funds that could, and should, be made available immediately – discretionary funds that were given to the Arizona Department of Education for precisely this purpose.”

Hoffman responded on Twitter that the money was not enough.

Udall and Hoffman may not believe there will ever be enough money for schools. On the other hand, parents who have fled the schools believe that there will never be again enough students to fill the schools and employ the teachers that abandoned their kids at such a critical time.