Equity & Diversity

Tom Horne Supplies ‘Video Evidence’ of Charter School’s Mexican Enrollees

By Mary Ann Zehr — May 21, 2009 1 min read
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If you’re applying for a job at Arizona’s Department of Education, you might want to mention any skills you have in making videos.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne recently sent a staff member to collect “video evidence” (it takes a while to load) that the Omega Alpha Academy charter school in Douglas is educating students who live in Agua Prieta, Mexico. Horne doesn’t believe that Arizona taxpayers should have to pay for the education of Mexican residents who cross the border to attend school. The video was posted today on the state education agency’s Web site.

Apparently the charter school’s executive director had contended that the school enrolls only students who show proof of residency in the United States.

In the nearly five-minute video, the camera zooms in on license plates of white vans and signs for the charter school and for the border crossing. First, the staffer films the vans from a vehicle and through a windshield that is being pummeled by raindrops. In other footage, the weather is clear, and students scurry into vans on the Mexican side of the border and scurry out in front of the charter school. In parts of the video, the staffer is riding in a vehicle that is following the vans.

It’s a little hard to understand exactly what’s happening with the vans and where they are, with all the fragmented scenes. It’s my guess that the video-maker didn’t go to film school.

But it sure seems that Horne has, indeed, in his possession a video of white vans moving from one side of the border to the other transporting kids with backpacks who attend the charter school.

In a press release I just got from Horne, he says, “The scheme is open and blatant.”

Stay tuned for future episodes.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.