/ Modified mar 3, 2017 4:42 p.m.

Episode 127: What's Next for Tucson Unified Schools?

District needs superintendent, interview with U.S. Rep. Martha McSally and more.

The Tucson Unified School District is looking for a new superintendent amid continuing divisiveness on its board.

This week, the TUSD Board was scheduled to consider firing the superintendent, H.T. Sanchez. The board spent hours over the last three weeks in closed-door meetings about his contract, before emerging with a decision Tuesday night.

The board voted 3-2 to accept Sanchez' resignation. Members Mike Hicks, Mark Stegeman and Rachel Sedgwick voted in favor. Adelita Grijalva and Kristel Foster supported Sanchez, and therefor voted against accepting the resignation.

The district will now search for a new permanent superintendent, and will pay Sanchez $200,000 to end his contract. It would have lasted through June 2018, at an expense of more than $500,000, according to Stegeman.

In this week's episode, Metro Week explores what's next, with analysis from Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Steller.

Also in this episode:

  • U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., on hostility at town halls, her plans for replacing the Affordable Care Act, and how to deal with immigrants already in the country without documentation.

  • Tucson goes to court against the state. A state law says cities must sell any guns they seize in the process of investigating crimes. Tucson has an ordinance that requires the city destroy, rather than sell, such guns. Another state law says cities can't make policies in opposition to state law, so the Attorney General sued Tucson for violating the gun law. AZPM's Christopher Conover explains the case and both sides arguments.

  • Downtown Tucson will get two hotels by the end of 2018, in addition to the one under construction now. Fletcher McCusker, chairman of the Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment board, said they will help attract conventions, conferences, and more development downtown.

"We're the largest city in America that does not have a convention center hotel on the convention center site," McCusker said.

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