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AZ's Mexican-American Studies to Overthrow Govt?

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on June 22, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Arizona's superintendent of schools John Huppenthal has declared that the Tucson Unified School District's Mexican-American Studies Program violates state law.

The ACLU, however, says that former superintendent of schools Tom Horne wrote the law specifically to get the Mexican-American Studies Program out - and that the program is not illegal.

Arizona's ethnic-studies law forbids classes that are promoting the overthrow of the U.S. government or resentment toward other ethnicities.

The Mexican-American Studies Program is supposed to "promote the understanding and appreciation of cultural similarities and differences that exist within our communities," and to advance students' understanding of different Latino populations and cultures throughout the U.S. and the world.

Huppenthal has declared that the Mexican-American Studies Program is illegal and has given the schools 60 days to make the classes conform to the law or lose 10% of monthly state funds, totaling around $15 million, if they do not comply, reports Courthouse News Service.

However, the ACLU is now demanding to see the records of the review of the Mexican-American Studies Program. The ACLU says that while Huppenthal says that the program is illegal because it promotes the overthrow of the U.S. government, the state really knows that the program really isn't illegal in the first place, reports the Courthouse News Service.

One vital piece of evidence that supports the ACLU is that an audit by Cambium Learning and National Academic Educational Partners, a 120-page document, actually says that the program does not promote overthrow of the U.S. government. In fact, the audit had nothing but glowing things to say about the program - and it even suggests that the program should be expanded, reports The Arizona Republic.

Curiously enough, the document was distributed by Huppenthal's aids during a news conference, according to The Arizona Republic. And, it has caused some critics to wonder if Huppenthal committed a felony by knowingly presenting the results of the audit in a false manner.

What's next for the troubled program? It's unsure, as the press and scandal over the fate of the Mexican-American studies program, the controversial ethnic-studies law bill, and John Huppenthal and Tom Horne's role in the situation is still ongoing. And, it's unclear if the ACLU or other entities will have legal success in overturning Huppenthal's decision.

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