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Law & Courts

Rulings Due in Dispute Over Mexican-American Studies Program

By Lesli A. Maxwell — December 23, 2011 1 min read

The fight over the fate of a Mexican-American studies program in Tucson, Ariz., raged on this week as a group of teachers and students appeared in federal court to ask a judge to enjoin a state law that limits the teaching of ethnic studies in public schools.

A lawyer for John Huppenthal—Arizona’s schools chief, who earlier this year declared that the Tucson program is in violation of the state law—argued for the judge to throw the case out because the teachers and students have no standing to sue.

Meanwhile, the Tucson Unified School District is waiting for a separate ruling from an administrative law judge. The district appealed Mr. Huppenthal’s declaration that the Mexican-American studies program doesn’t comply with state law, which contradicted the findings of an independent audit that he had ordered.

If the judge rules in Mr. Huppenthal’s favor, Tucson Unified will have to decide between keeping the program or losing millions of dollars in state funding.

Rulings in both cases are expected within a few weeks.

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