Only days after the Arizona state legislature voted for punishing budget cuts in education, the now infamous witch hunt and audit of Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American/Ethnic Studies program is readying to commence. Price tag: An estimated $170,000.
In a blistering letter yesterday, Tucson attorney Richard Martinez warned the backpedaling TUSD superintendent John Pedicone that the audit “lacks any legal basis,” and “should immediately cease and desist.” Representing the Mexican American Studies teachers and the Save Ethnic Studies organization in Tucson, Martinez called the investigation a “violation of federal mandates set forth in the Family, Education and Privacy Rights Act of 1974,” among other abuses, and called on Pedicone to “confirm without delay that TUSD’s cooperation will cease immediately or at a minimum comport with all applicable legal mandates.”
Only two months ago, the newly hired Pedicone had referred to Arizona’s notorious HB211 law as “unconstitutional.” If found in violation of the law, which bans any studies that “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals,” TUSD could lose an estimated $36 million in funding.
The Mexican American/Ethic Studies ban, like the audit, of course, has nothing to do with kids learning how to overthrow the government–especially in a state where a radical anti-federal authority legislature has recently introduced bills for nullification of federal laws.
Take state Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, who is now marshaling the Mexican Studies/Ethnic Studies witch hunt.
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