Ariz schools’ ethnic studies program ruled illegal

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An administrative law judge ruled Tuesday that a Tucson school district’s ethnic studies program violates state law, agreeing with the findings of Arizona’s public schools chief.

Judge Lewis Kowal’s ruling marked a defeat for the Tucson Unified School District, which appealed the findings issued in June by Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal.

Kowal’s ruling, first reported by The Arizona Daily Star, said the district’s Mexican-American Studies program violated state law by having one or more classes designed primarily for one ethnic group, promoting racial resentment and advocating ethnic solidarity instead of treating students as individuals.

The judge, who found grounds to withhold 10 percent of the district’s monthly state aid until it comes into compliance, said the law permits the objective instruction about the oppression of people that may result in racial resentment or ethnic solidarity.

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