Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal has scored a major victory with yesterday’s decision by Administrative Law Judge Lewis Kowal affirming the Tucson Unified School District’s (TUSD’s) Mexican American Studies Program was in violation of A.R.S. § 15-112 as per Huppenthal’s ruling on June 15, 2011.
Stating that he was very pleased to receive the judge’s decision, Huppenthal noted that in his role as Superintendent of Public Instruction he “has a legal responsibility to uphold the law and a professional imperative to ensure that every student has access to an excellent education.”
Huppenthal said, “Upon taking office on January 3, 2011, I was faced with the immediate circumstance of the Tucson Unified School District being found in violation of A.R.S. §15-112 by the outgoing Superintendent. Instead of making a snap decision on the matter, the Arizona Department of Education, at my direction, conducted an intensive investigation, spanning many months, of TUSD’s Mexican American Studies Department (MASD) and its program.”
“In the end, I made a decision based on the totality of the information and facts gathered during my investigation –- a decision that I felt was best for all students in the Tucson Unified School District. The judge’s decision confirms that it was the right decision,” he said.
Superintendent Huppenthal indicated he will soon be issuing a final ruling regarding the matter after a thorough review of the judge’s decision.
Arizona’s former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne had long protested the TUSD’s La Raza endorsed anti-American, Mexican ethnic studies program and was instrumental in the passage of HB 2281 which “prohibits a school district or charter school from including courses or classes that either promote the overthrow of the United States government or promote resentment toward a race or class of people.”
Republican Horne is now the state Attorney General with the responsibility to ensure the effective enforcement of the law.