ACLU requests records for embattled Mexican-American Studies Program in Arizona
The ACLU wants to see the records from Arizona’s review of Tucson Unified School District’s embattled Mexican-American Studies Program, which the state is trying to close down, claiming it promotes the overthrow of the U.S. government. The ACLU says it does no such thing, and the state knows it.
After months of review, Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal last week said that the ethnic studies program is illegal. He gave the district 60 days to bring the classes up to code or lose 10 percent of its monthly state aid until it does.
The law which Huppenthal says the program violates, passed last year by the state’s largely Republican Legislature, prohibits public schools from offering classes that “promote overthrowing the U.S. government”; “promote resentment towards a race or class of people”; “are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic race”; or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”
The ACLU says that former state school Superintendent Tom Horne - now the Arizona attorney general - wrote the law and pushed it through the Legislature specifically to get rid of Tucson USD’s program, and that Huppenthal is continuing the crusade.
A recent audit of the program by Cambium Learning and National Academic Educational Partners found no evidence that the program breaks the law.