An Arizona school district superintendent who stands accused of falsifying graduation rates broke down at an emergency board meeting on Friday night and dramatically begged board members to buy out the remainder of his lucrative contract.
At a prior board meeting last week, school board member Buck Crouch charged that that Manuel Isquierdo, the beleaguered superintendent of Tucson’s Sunnyside Unified School District, had submitted graduation percentages that don’t corroborate with the rates on the Arizona Department of Education website, reports local CBS affiliate KOLD.
Crouch’s allegations came amid the run-up to a wild school board recall election, set for Tuesday. He also asked for the superintendent’s resignation.
At the Friday meeting, Isquierdo described Crouch’s graduation claims as an attack on him personally and an insult to the district’s students, teachers and parents.
Isquierdo also threatened that his departure would mean that students would have to use traditional writing mechanisms more frequently.
“Let them go back to their pencils and papers,” he said, according to the CBS affiliate. “We have made so many advancements since I have been superintendent.”
The superintendent of Tucson’s second-largest district played the race card at the meeting as well.
“I feel Mr. Crouch was reckless, uninhibited toward his board members who happen to be Latino, he was disrespectful to a Latino superintendent. I have earned the right to be in this chair,” the schools boss said, according to the station.
“I really want you to consider to buy me out,” Isquierdo urged. “I’m done. I’m tired.”
As the Arizona Daily Independent notes, Friday’s emergency meeting appears to have been scheduled for a time when Crouch and another school board member, Daniel Hernandez, could not attend.
Lori Hunnicutt, editor of the Daily Independent, provided some background on the Isquierdo’s odd paper-and-pencil remarks.
“A few years back,” Hunnicutt told The Daily Caller, Isquierdo “started a digital giveaway” involving “cheap laptops” that were provided for kids who maintained good grades.
“Isquierdo made a small fortune” out of the deal, Hunnicutt claims.