The first meeting since former Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a lawsuit against the Buckeye Elementary School District, and the only place the district had it on the agenda was in executive session.
“When the whole lawsuit came out, it was a slap in the face,” said teacher and President of the Buckeye Education Association Maria Moreno. “Nobody knew what was going on.”
That lawsuit stems from a 2022 report from the Arizona Auditor General that said the district’s Superintendent Dr. Kristi Wilson was paid more than $1.7 million in “additional compensation” over the last five years.
“We need extra para support, and I just think of those that are trying to make ends meet on minimum wage and the job that they do,” said 3.rd Grade Teacher Patricia Vallier
“Considering what we make after 14 years of teaching, I just barely scratched the $50,000,” said 7.th Grade Math Teacher Misty Porche.
She said the announcement and details of the lawsuit were disheartening.
Teachers who came to the meeting told ABC15 their trust is broken.
When asked about the fact that there was no public discussion of the suit, they all said it was concerning.
“Because it seems something is always going on and we have no knowledge of it,” said Moreno.
The district, while in executive session, sending ABC15 a new statement calling the lawsuit “misleading” and “inaccurate”.
On Monday, Buckeye ESD released a clarifying statement, saying he district allowed Dr. Wilson to “buy back” retirement credits that weren’t transferable from her previous state. The district insists much of the money went to the state retirement system or the IRS.
The statement also said those benefits have now ended, putting the superintendent’s base salary below the median for a district of their size.
After the meeting ended, the superintendent said she wouldn’t talk with us and any follow up questions needed to be sent via email.
ABC15 did send a list of questions to the district.
Teachers at the meeting hoping the new Attorney General Kris Mayes takes up this case.
ABC15 did reach out to her office Monday and are hoping to get an update.
Having problems viewing the statement, click here.