Decision, plans to reintegrate Mexican American Studies put on hold by TUSD Board

Decision, plans to reintegrate Mexican American Studies put on hold by TUSD Board

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson Unified School District School Board had a chance to ceremoniously acknowledge that the state ban on Mexican American Studies was wrong, but members decided to hold off.

The controversial program was controversially banned in 2010 and remained so until August 2017, when a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional.

A plan for reintegration by TUSD has yet to be laid out, but it was put on Tuesday night's agenda by board members Adelita Grijalva and Kristel Ann Foster. Both wanted the board to at least acknowledge that the ban was bad.  
"This will be a national story tonight, you guys," said Foster. "This will be a national story that here goes this TUSD board again banning culturally-relevant."
It was a symbolic gesture that was tabled by a 3-2 vote with only Foster and Grijalva supporting it.
One thing to remember, legal action against the ban had already been resolved, thanks to the 2017 ruling.  However nearly five months later the board has yet to address exactly how they will bring the curriculum back.
At Tuesday's meeting, board member Michael Hicks brought up that his disagreement with the MAS program was a platform he ran on during the election.
"I thought the law was stupid to begin with. That's not why I did what I did with the Mexican-American Studies Program," said Hicks, referring to his disagreement with some of the curriculum. 
"And that's what this says. This says with this vote we acknowledge that it was stupid and it's unconstitutional and let's just move forward with what we know that was working," said Foster. 
Hicks questioned whether the district would simply reintroduce curriculum from eight years ago, but he believes that is not feasible. 
How the district will do it will likely be proposed in a research session scheduled for next week.

The board still plans to vote on Foster's and Grijalva's agenda item at a meeting scheduled for Jan. 30.

WANT MORE? Download the Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.