Less than two days remain until Tucson's largest school district goes back to class, and some changes will be noticeable on the first day of school.
The unitary status plan is a federal mandate to insure students of all backgrounds get the same achievement opportunities. But the state isn't finished weighing in on some of the classes being offered.
The governing board tonight went over how to measure student achievement tracking students who need help in a variety of areas and how to make sure students at each school have the same opportunities at those other ones in the district. This is part of a federal desegregation order and this plan is the unitary status plan. When the district ended Mexican American Studies under state law the federal government has now required culturally relevant courses for Mexican American and African American emphasis.
The state attorney general says this is still in violation of his state law against Mexican American Studies but the TUSD board president points out the Attorney General is not a plaintiff in that federal case.
"It was unjust. It's an unjust program to divide kids up by race and the judge would not let us intervene. So we have to appeal to the Ninth Circuit and perhaps ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court," said Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.
"This is a federal mandate and as much as we, with [former TUSD superintendent] Dr. Pedicone and now with Dr. Sanchez have try to keep the door open for the state to give us some feedback, ultimately it's a federal court order that we have to abide by," said TUSD governing board president Adelita Grijalva.
Culturally relevant literature courses will be available Thursday at three TUSD high schools.
The board has yet to approve history and government classes.
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