ARIZONA ORDERS FUNDING WITHHELD FROM SCHOOL DISTRICT OVER MEXICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM

The Arizona Department of Education on Friday ordered severe funding cuts for the Tucson Unified School District over its Mexican-American studies curriculum, saying the ethnic studies program is a violation of state law.

John Huppenthal, Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction, said he’s cutting state funding by 10 percent and making it retroactive to August, leaving the Tucson district facing an immediate $4.9 million funding loss and a more than $14 million loss by June, the Tucson Citizen reported.

The state has long been at odds with the Tucson district over the Mexican-American program, with state officials contending the classes promote reverse racism, according to the Citizen. An Arizona law passed last year — which directly targeted Tucson’s program — bans classes designed for a particular ethnic group or which “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.”

Huppenthal told the newspaper he gave the school district ample time to improve its program and address the state’s concerns, but finally had no choice but to impose penalties.

“The district hasn’t dealt with the issue,” he told the Citizen. “The problems are so deep and so wide, it would be almost impossible to cure the program.”

In a statement, Huppenthal said the classes teach that “Latino minorities have been and continue to be oppressed by a Caucasian majority,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Arizona Department of Education on Friday ordered severe funding cuts for the Tucson Unified School District over its Mexican-American studies curriculum, saying the ethnic studies program is a violation of state law.

John Huppenthal, Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction, said he’s cutting state funding by 10 percent and making it retroactive to August, leaving the Tucson district facing an immediate $4.9 million funding loss and a more than $14 million loss by June, the Tucson Citizen reported.

The state has long been at odds with the Tucson district over the Mexican-American program, with state officials contending the classes promote reverse racism, according to the Citizen. An Arizona law passed last year — which directly targeted Tucson’s program — bans classes designed for a particular ethnic group or which “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.”

Huppenthal told the newspaper he gave the school district ample time to improve its program and address the state’s concerns, but finally had no choice but to impose penalties.

“The district hasn’t dealt with the issue,” he told the Citizen. “The problems are so deep and so wide, it would be almost impossible to cure the program.”

In a statement, Huppenthal said the classes teach that “Latino minorities have been and continue to be oppressed by a Caucasian majority,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

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