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Integration, Diversity and Racial Equity

Tucson Unified is fundamentally committed to the principles of integration, diversity and racial equity. Our programs, including magnet school, incentive transportation, family outreach, curriculum, and extracurricular activities, are all designed to fulfill this commitment.

This page, and the pages listed here, describe the measures we take to achieve integration, diversity, and racial equity.


A Day in the Life...

Update on Partial Unitary Status

Photo of students in library

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusiveness Department Logo


Tucson Unified demonstrates its commitment to integration, diversity, and racial equity in all its programs. In particular, the following programs are instrumental in achieving our goals.

Student/Parent Complaint

As described in the Student Code of Conduct, students and parents have a right to file a complaint to their principal, assistant principal, or Student Relations.

Student/Parent Complaint Form: Exhibit JICK-E1 (in PDF)

Fulfilling Our Committment

  • In Academics
    Tucson Unified works to improve the academic achievement of African American and Latino students in the District and to ensure that African American and Latino students have equitable access to the District’s Advanced Learning Experiences.
  • To Behavior
    Tucson Unified considers its student behavior policies and discipline practices as part of the District’s overall goal of creating inclusive and supportive environments in schools.Tucson Unified commits to ensuring that students remain as often as practicable in classroom settings where learning happens. In accordance with the student code of conduct, and to the extent practicable based on the student behavior at issue, a variety of graduated positive behavior techniques will be used with the aim of preventing students from being excluded from the classroom or school.
  • To Community and Family Engagement
    Community and family engagement are critical components of student success. Tucson Unified will seek to continuously increase family and community engagement in schools, at family centers, and through the District's central offices. TUSD will seek to partner with and learn from families to design and implement effective strategies for meeting the needs of their children.
  • To Diversity
    Students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds shall have the opportunity to attend a diverse school. A diverse school is one in which no racial or ethnic group varies from the district average by more than +/- 20 percentage points, and in which no single racial or ethnic group exceeds 70% of the school’s enrollment.
  • In Extracurricular Activities
    Tucson Unified ensures that extracurricular activities provide opportunities for interracial contact in positive settings of shared interest and that students have equitable access to extracurricular activities regardless of racial or ethnic background or ELL status-to the extent practicable.

    Tucson Unified will provide a range of extracurricular activities at each school to provide students opportunities to participate in sports activities at schools at which they are offered, to develop leadership skills, and to pursue curricular interests and programs.

  • To Facilities
    Tucson Unified ensures that students have equitable access to facilities and technological resources.

TUSD granted partial unitary status in Court Order issued on Sept. 6, 2018

On Thursday, September 6, 2018, the federal district court in Tucson entered an order in the desegregation case originally filed in 1974, finding that the TUSD has complied in good faith with the most recent desegregation decree entered in 2013 in many respects, and setting a time table for completion of remaining issues by September 1, 2019, and termination of supervision after confirmation of completion of the remaining steps.

The current desegregation decree, together with the additional action plans required by that decree, amount to hundreds of different individual requirements with which the District must comply.   The Court’s order confirms that TUSD has met most of these requirements in the years since the decree was entered.  In particular, the Court ruled that TUSD has achieved partial unitary status with respect to its operations in the areas of student assignment, transportation, teaching and administrative staff, quality of education, family engagement, extracurricular activities, facilities and technology. In each of these areas, most requirements have been met, with additional items set out by the Court for completion by TUSD.

While TUSD is disappointed that the Court did not grant full unitary status, and continues to believe that for many reasons termination of federal court intervention in local district operations is long overdue in this case, TUSD is committed to doing everything it can to complete the remaining tasks set out in the order as soon as possible. But even more fundamentally, with or without federal court intervention, TUSD is committed to diversity, integration and equity for all of its students.

Tucson Unified School District Desegregation Tax Fact Sheet

Understanding the Tucson Unified Desegregation Tax LevyThe total TUSD tax levy last year (2017) was $222,587,250 compared to $216,646,040 this year (2018) – a 3% decrease in the total TUSD levy, including desegregation. The desegregation levy has been frozen by statute at the $63M for several years.

With that decrease in the levy, the total TUSD tax rate decreased from $6.9218 per $100 NAV (Net Asset Value) last year to $6.5554 per $100 NAV this year.

You will see that last year, the desegregation levy was woven into Maintenance and Operations and Unrestricted Capital, so those two levies went down considerably this year with the desegregation levy now broken out of them and listed separately.

Some important facts:

  • The tax levy for desegregation is not a new tax, nor is it an increase.
  • The tax levy for desegregation is frozen at the 2008-2009 level
  • The State Legislature now requires that Pima County separately list the portion of a school district's property tax levy that is for funding of desegregation programs.
  • This is not a tax increase; it simply means that the school district's property taxes are split up and shown differently on the tax bill.
  • With the desegregation tax levy listed separately, a typical taxpayer will see decreases in TUSD Maintenance & Operation and Unrestricted Capital taxes for 2018, as desegregation was included in those same levies during 2017.
  • The total TUSD tax rate, including the desegregation levy, has not increased – in fact, it has decreased 3% over last year's rate.
  • If an individual taxpayer's property tax has increased over last year, it is due to factors other than TUSD tax levies. Those factors include assessed values and changes in tax levies for entities other than the school district.

Related to the Legislation:

  • The legislation passed last session did not result in any immediate decrease in TUSD funding.
  • Even if the state does not, for some reason, provide the additional state aid for education (ARS 15-972), this will not reduce the District's ability to meet its financial obligations or its obligations under the desegregation court orders this school year.

Related to the Desegregation case:

 In September 2018, the Federal Judge recognized significant progress made by the District and awarded "partial unitary status" in many areas of the court-ordered plan, which is a major step toward "unitary status" which would lead to closure of the case.

For additional information on the Tucson Unified School District Desegregation case, please see the information on this website.

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