Eagle Forum
Email
Subscribe
Shop
Shop
Youtube
Youtube
Blogger
Blog
Feeds
Feed
Back to February Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 313 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS FEBRUARY 2012

Mexican-American Studies Standoff
A controversial Mexican-American Studies (MAS) program in Arizona has finally been suspended a full year after a law banning the courses took effect. The governing board of the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) voted 4-1 to immediately terminate the classes after Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal announced he would retroactively enforce a provision to withhold 10% of the district's state funding if the district did not come into compliance with the new law.

Ads are provided by Google and are not selected or endorsed by Eagle Forum
TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone said the penalty amounted to $8M since August 15th and could total $15M annually. Board president Mark Stegeman said the district "would have great difficulty coping" with such a significant loss of funding. "It's safe to say that [Huppenthal and the Legislature] are trying to increase the pressure on the board to take immediate action," he added.

The law in question bans courses that are designed primarily for one ethnic group, advocate ethnic solidarity over treating people as individuals, or promote resentment towards a race or class of people. The MAS program does all three, according to Huppenthal. A U.S. Circuit Court judge ruled against eleven teachers and two students who asked for an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the new law until their lawsuit is settled.

The situation is complicated by the MAS's status as the linchpin of a court-ordered desegregation program. Attorneys with the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund are seeking reinstatement of the classes on behalf of several families involved in a 38-year-old desegregation lawsuit against the TUSD. A federal judge wanted to close the case in recent years, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the district had not complied with the plan and still required judicial oversight. (TucsonSentinel.com, 1-10-12; AZCentral.com, 2-7-12)

 
Google Ads are provided by Google and are not selected or endorsed by Eagle Forum
Eagle Forum • PO Box 618 • Alton, IL 62002 phone: 618-462-5415 fax: 618-462-8909 eagle@eagleforum.org