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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tucson's largest school district has awarded a $92,000 strategic planning contract to a company headed by one of superintendent's personal job references.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that educational consulting company the Center for Reform of School Systems was recently awarded the contract without an open bid.

The company's leader, Cathy Mincberg, not only worked with Superintendent H.T. Sanchez on strategic planning in the district he ran in Texas but also is listed as a reference on his resume.

District officials say because the value is less than $100,000, the Tucson United School District was not required to hold open bidding or seek approval from the district's Governing Board.

Two other companies were invited to bid.

The troubled school district has faced a number of problems, ranging for losing students to facing criticism for ended its Mexican American Studies program.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star

Associated Press,

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