Horne to Tucson Schools: Funds at Risk Over Ethnic Studies

By Mary Ann Zehr — August 03, 2010 1 min read
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Tom Horne, Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, has told the superintendent of Arizona’s Tucson Unified School District that he will announce a withholding of 10 percent of the district’s funds as soon as a new law goes into effect Dec. 31 that bans classes designed for a particular ethnic group. Horne made the threat in a letter sent today to John Carroll, the superintendent of Tucson Unified. He also formally requested that the superintendent videotape all of the ethnic studies classes in his district “in their entirety.”

Tucson Unified officials would have the opportunity to appeal that withholding of funds before an administrative judge. I just placed a call to Carroll’s office and was told by his assistant that he’s been inundated with calls and wasn’t available.

When I reported for a May 19 article for Education Week about the ethnic-studies controversy in Arizona, Abel Morado, the principal of Tucson High School, told me he didn’t see the ethnic studies classes taught at his school as violating the new law, H.B. 2281, because they are open to any student. He contended they couldn’t thus be deemed as designed for a particular ethnic group.

In his letter, Horne stands by his claim that the ethnic-studies classes do violate the new law. He says that if the district refuses to videotape them, he “will offer that refusal as evidence to the administrative law judge that the school district has deliberately hidden facts that would show that the district is in noncompliance with H.B. 2281.”

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