Posted 2:12 PM 1/12/2013 : New TUSD Board members re-energize MAS debate
Tucson- The election of two new board members to the TUSD governing board has resurrected a movement to bring back the Mexican American Studies or MAS program to the district.
The banned MAS program is now back on the table because the new TUSD Governing Board President, Adelita Grijalva and the newly elected board members, Kristel Ann Foster and Cam Juarez, wasted no time in voting to remove the existing official "objection" to the implementation of the the program in the district.
The new president and board members are leading the charge to bring the MAS program back. With TUSD still waiting for a ruling on having unitary status, Grijalva says removing the "objection" has sent a clear message to the judge they no longer have a problem with culturally relevant courses.
In the meantime the board's new president is expecting a fight with state legislators. In a phone conversation with Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, told News 4 Tucson, "Students should be taught to treat each other as individuals and not on the basis of the race they were born into. If (people) will look at the curriculum of these courses, which are quoted on my website, they will be shocked at how racist the curriculum of these courses have been."
Grijalva says that money for the MAS program, as with all other ethnic studies programs, comes from desegregation funds provided by the government. That totals around 60-million dollars a year and is separate from other budget funds. Grijalva says funding MAS will have nothing to do with the current deficit cuts the district is now dealing with, "Any of the programs, like culturally relevant programs, will be funded through desegregation, so that doesn't impact the deficit. and it won't increase whether we have these programs or not."
Grijalva says the MAS program could be re-instated to the core curriculum for TUSD as early as the 2013-2014 school year.
To connect with Tom Horne's website click on the link...https://azag.gov/issues
Posted 7:49 AM 1/9/2013 : TUSD board backs cultural courses
TUCSON - The Tucson Unified School District Governing Board is reversing itself by voting to drop an objection to providing so-called "culturally relevant" courses for core credit beginning next school year.
The courses would focus on experiences, culture and history of Mexican-Americans and African-Americans.
The governing board had objected to offering the courses as part of anti-desegregation plan.
However, the board reversed its position in a 3-2 vote Tuesday as two newly elected board members supported the change.
The district previously eliminated Mexican-American Studies courses after state officials ruled that the courses' content violated a law against curriculum that engendered racial or ethnic disharmony.
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