Scottsdale parents rally over school district financial scandal

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Another major resignation was announced at the Scottsdale Unified School District as dozens of parents and teachers protested outside Tuesday's school board meeting. 

Chief Operations Officer Louis Hartwell will step down at the end of the budget year. 

Last month, Chief Financial Officer Laura Smith resigned. Smith was accused of funneling school district funds to a business in which she has a financial interest.

This led to an internal investigation into the district's financial dealings and a probe by the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

On Tuesday, parents and teachers called for the firing of Superintendent Denise Birdwell.

"Our community members aren't happy, and I don't think it's going to change anytime soon," parent Patty Beckman said. "So for the sake of our children, so we can get back on the right track, I think it's probably time."

The parents also have complaints about the superintendent's dealings with teachers and school renovations. A district spokesperson said Birdwell has no intention of resigning.

Before the meeting, Board President Barbara Perleberg said, "Our job is to take all of these voices and weigh them together as we try to make the best, most informed decisions we can for our students."

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