Effective immediately, the Tucson Unified School District’s (TUSD) ethnic studies program has been suspended after a long and controversial public hearing.
An Arizona judge had previously ruled that the ethnic studies classes were in violation of the law because they were divisive and as State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal stated, they “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.”
Advocates of the classes however say that not allowing students to be taught about their heritage and culture is racist, adding that the classes are intended to teach them an often neglected part of American history.
At the public hearing, the TUSD board voted 4 to 1 to get rid of the classes. If the classes had continued, come February, 10 percent of the district’s monthly apportionment of state aid would have been withheld, and would have been applied retroactively, meaning the school would have been out about $15 million over the fiscal year.