In Arizona schools, it’s apparently OK to study black culture, Asian culture and American Indian culture, but offer a class in Latino culture and you put your school district at risk of losing significant state funding, according to an article in today’s New York Times.
“It’s propagandizing and brainwashing that’s going on there,” Tom Horne, Arizona’s newly elected attorney general, said this week as he officially declared the program in violation of a state law that went into effect on January 1.
Horne was the state’s top education official prior to being elected attorney general in November. The new education chief supports Horne’s stand.
Most of the heat is being felt in the Tucson School District, which began adding ethnic studies programs in the 1970s after being sued for discrimination.
So far the District is holding firm, saying it will continue to offer the classes, even though doing so could cost it $15 million this year.
A new Arizona law bans some ethnic studies courses, while allowing others. Studies in Arizona have shown that children taking ethnic studies courses do better on testing than students who don’t take the classes.
A group of teachers has sued the state to reverse the law.