FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 27, 2011
Statement of Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal on Administrative Law Judge’s Decision that the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies Program is in Violation of A.R.S. § 15-112
Phoenix, AZ, December 27, 2011– Today, Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal released the following statement on the decision of Administrative Law Judge Lewis Kowal that affirmed the Tucson Unified School District’s (TUSD’s) Mexican American Studies Program was in violation of A.R.S. § 15-112 as per his ruling from June 15, 2011:
“I was very pleased to receive Judge Kowal’s decision today affirming the ruling that I made on June 15 that TUSD’s Mexican American Studies Program was in violation of A.R.S. § 15-112.
In my role as State Superintendent of Public Instruction I have a legal responsibility to uphold the law and a professional imperative to ensure that every student has access to an excellent education.
Upon taking office on January 3, 2011, I was faced with the immediate circumstance of the Tucson Unified School District being found in violation of A.R.S. §15-112 by the outgoing Superintendent. Instead of making a snap decision on the matter, the Arizona Department of Education, at my direction, conducted an intensive investigation, spanning many months, of TUSD’s Mexican American Studies Department (MASD) and its program.
In the end, I made a decision based on the totality of the information and facts gathered during my investigation – a decision that I felt was best for all students in the Tucson Unified School District. The Judge’s decision confirms that it was the right decision.
I will be issuing my final ruling regarding the matter in the near future after a thorough and deliberate review of the Judge’s decision.”