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Grijalva urges federal probe into decision on TUSD's MAS program

Congressman sends letter to Departments of Justice, Education

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U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Tucson, sent a letter Monday to federal education officials asking for an investigation into whether state law violates national standards in targeting TUSD's Mexican American Studies program, his office announced Tuesday.

Grijalva, who chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' education task force, sent the letter to Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights Russlyn Ali and others in the Departments of Education and Justice.

In the letter, co-signed by CHC Chairman U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzales, D-Texas, Grijalva wrote: “Using the law to attack the MAS Program, with its proven educational successes, will only serve to exacerbate the already harmful anti-Latino sentiment in Arizona. We urge you in the strongest terms possible to open an investigation of ARS 15-112 and to ensure state compliance with federal law.”

ARS 15-122 prohibits schools from allowing classes that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment toward a race or class of people, are created for students of a particular ethnic group or that advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of students as individuals.

A provision in the law allows state Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal to withhold 10 percent of a district’s state funding if he determines a district violates the law.

“This is not about one group of people wanting special treatment,” Grijalva wrote. “This is about a successful educational program with a high graduation rate being shut down for purely ideological reasons.

"Public education isn’t supposed to be politicized in this country, but that’s exactly what’s happened in Southern Arizona and the students are losing out because of it. The Department of Education would do a great public service by conducting a full and fair investigation into whether this power grab is authorized under federal law,” the letter states.

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5
1460 comments
Jan 24, 2012, 11:54 pm
-0 +2

“This is not about one group of people wanting special treatment,” Grijalva wrote.

Ummmmmmm….....hmmmmmmmm…...

“Public education isn’t supposed to be politicized in this country…

Ummmmmmm…......

Wow, I am soooooooooo confused.

Well, not really. Grijalva’s motives have always been thinly-veiled support of the reconquista movement. This idiotic move can just be added to the very long list of why this traitor has absolutely no business whatsoever in any political office at any layer of government. But, he has the right skin color…let’s be honest. That’s why far too many vote for him…too many voters are just as bigoted as he is. Or, wait…only “white” folks can be bigots around here, right?

If Grijalva is so smart, then perhaps he can explain to us all why teaching this tired resentment and hate to the next generation absolutely has to be done with tax dollars rather than on their own time and their own dime. I would LOVE to hear even one MAS supporter explain that to me because it’s just not clicking in my head.

4
399 comments
Jan 24, 2012, 8:34 pm
-1 +2

@buddhaboy& @scar

The program hasn’t changed. It was specifically targeted by a new state law pushed by Horne and Huppenthal.

3
238 comments
Jan 24, 2012, 8:05 pm
-0 +1

Scar/ Perhaps the program started out with good intentions and morphed into its present state.  I really dont know, but different dept. heads over the years could have entirely different agendas. Even a change in instructors could lead to the present violation of law. Perhaps some of the radical books used in the program were not part of the curriculum in the past.

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Joanne Ingram/Cronkite News Service

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva

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