Parents hope to quiz school chief - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Parents hope to quiz school chief

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Posted: Tuesday, October 7, 2003 9:38 am | Updated: 1:40 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Parents rallying in support of an embattled Scottsdale principal said they hope to question Superintendent Barbara Erwin and address the governing board during two meetings today.

At a 9:30 a.m. Parent Council meeting, parents said they want to ask Erwin about her district management and the Scottsdale Unified School District board’s vote to terminate Sequoya Elementary School principal Maureen Booth after an investigation into whether she doctored test scores to get teachers $26,000 in performance pay and did not properly discipline an employee who gave his telephone number to a fifth-grader.

"Our goal is to get some questions answered from Dr. Erwin," said parent Chris Cook. "Issues would be broader than just Sequoya."

Parents have questioned whether problems with performance pay extend beyond Sequoya.

There was no word on whether Erwin would be at the meeting, which she usually attends, said Parent Council president Suanne Rudley, who said Erwin’s entire administrative team should be present for answers.

Parent Mary Kim Brown said parents also plan to attend a 7 p.m. governing board meeting to defend Booth and ask questions, including why the district has set aside $500,000 that can be spent on attorney fees.

"It certainly makes us wonder what else is going on," Smith said of the fees.

Governing board member Joel Feldman said Monday that he is among board members bombarded with e-mails from parents angered by the decision to begin a process to fire Booth on charges he said were serious enough to call for termination. Board members cannot investigate the validity of charges, but must approve charges that rise to a serious level. Booth plans to ask for a hearing to appeal the decision.

"I’m sure she’s a very nice lady, and everything else," Feldman said. "But the

public is judging her popularity. It puts us in a tough spot."

Both meetings are in the district board room, 3811 N. 44th St. in Phoenix.

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