HB 2281 was signed yesterday by Gov. Jan Brewer and bans all ethnic studies courses in Arizonan schools. The measure bans classes that specifically back the overthrow of the government as well as courses “that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.”
The law was the brainchild of state schools chief Tom Horne who has long claimed that the Chicano studies courses in the Tucson school district promoted a "destructive ethnic chauvinism." Horne, who is undoubtedly trying to score cheap political points as part of a possible run as Arizonan attorney general, claimed that one of the textbooks used in the Tucson Chicano studies class promotes the idea that “kids that they live in occupied America, or occupied Mexico.”
The law gives the state Board of Education is local school superintendent the right to withhold up to 10% of state aid for “violations.” However, school districts have the right to appeal the law and the measure is supposed to take effect on December 31st. For now, Tucson school officials have defended the targeted ethnic studies classes:
Tucson Unified School District officials say the Chicano studies classes benefit students and promote critical thinking. "We don't teach all those ugly things they think we're teaching," said Judy Burns, the president of the district's governing board.Image- The Telegraph
She has no intention of ending the program, which offers courses from elementary school through high school in topics such as literature, history and social justice, with an emphasis on Latino authors and history. About 3% of the district's 55,000 students are enrolled in such classes…
The Tucson district plans to double the number of students in Chicano studies in the upcoming school year, said Sean Arce, the director of the program. Arce said that now that the bill has become law, he's waiting for direction from the district's legal department.
Online Sources- Los Angeles Times, Politico, UPI, azstarnet.com, AFP, CBS News