Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

More on the Ethnic Studies funding debate

In the current Tucson Weekly, reporter Mari Herreras gives additional details on The Elective Question— referring, of course, to the question of the century: Should the Mexican American Studies (MAS) classes in Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) be core courses or electives.

The article juxtaposes quotes from TUSD School Board members, TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone, members of the Mexican American Studies [Community] Advisory Board (a group of Latino activists, Latino elected officials, and University of Arizona MAS faculty, a group that I didn’t know existed until last week), and an unnamed source or sources speaking for maintaining the MAS status quo. (It’s a very good article, but I thought it curious that all sources were named except for the MAS supporters. What’s up with that?)

In addition to confirming that the board will vote on the MAS reorganization proposal that I posted earlier this week, the story reports that Pedicone will provide details on MAS funding. From the Weekly

At the same meeting, TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone is expected to present a detailed report on where desegregation funds are spent in the district’s four ethnic studies programs: African-American, Mexican-American, Native American and Pan-Asian studies.

The report was requested by governing board president Mark Stegeman and approved at the Tuesday, April 12, meeting. Stegeman, Michael Hicks and Miguel Cuevas voted yes, while Adelita Grijalva voted no. Judy Burns did not vote.

Just to clarify, the TUSD Board wants full transparency on how all of the district’s $68 million in desegregation funds are being spent– not just Ethnic Studies. Between now and the end of 2011, there will be multiple funding reports; next week is the Ethnic Studies report. Let the sunshine in.

12 comments on “More on the Ethnic Studies funding debate

  1. allen
    April 22, 2011

    are you nuts? how about an elective in the constitution or better yet core studies of the constitution.

    • ziggy
      April 22, 2011

      What do you expect from the Tucson Citizen?

  2. Wolf
    April 22, 2011

    Wait a minute!!!!!!!
    What happen to: GAM,IAM,ect ect.
    Oh yea I forgot the other ethnic groups in this country are studied in Social Study type classes. I would realy like to know where and how these groups are funded.

    • Pamela Powers
      April 22, 2011

      Bingo, Wolf. There are many oppressed groups in the US. LGBT studies will be taught in the California public schools in the near future– but not in AZ. (That would make Russell Pearce’s head explode, wouldn’t it?) By IAM, do you mean Indian American? There is a Native American Studies program under the Ethnic Studies umbrella name. Mexican American Studies, Native American Studies, African American Studies, and Asian Pacific Island Studies are all structured differently. It is my understanding that only MAS has courses that count as core courses (ie, they replace other required courses for graduation credit.)

  3. Clement R Knorr
    April 22, 2011

    A shocking number of TUSD victims, a/k/a students, can barely read or do simple math.   The  La Raza folks would have us waste precious dollars and classroom time spewing their message of hate in order to perpetuate their vicious propaganda.

  4. steve
    April 22, 2011

    Desegregation funds?! From what level of government come these funds? What government agency provides these funds, and decides who gets how much? From whence come these funds? Taxes, obviously, but at which level? Local? State? Fed?

  5. Vato Loco
    April 22, 2011

    This is very tiring… trying to save your souls from your own ignorance/bigotry.  A little goggle search on TUSD web page will lead you to how MAS(Mexican American Studies) is funded. Maybe then you all could escape this abyss of darkness… thus, formulate your own informed, factual based opinions on the merits of MAS classes and not on what you heard this morning on the John (mis-informed) in-justice propaganda show.  MAS classes are mandated by the federal government as a result of TUSD’s historical and continued educational neglect of African, Native, Pan Asian, Mexican people.  As a parent of a MAS fourth grader, he and his classmates could teach you about a Mayan concept of “In La Kech” which translate to… “you are my other me”. Clement, this is what my federal tax (not my state taxes)dollars go to… You, my friend are the one who is espousing hate… Please look in the mirror and learn to love yourself… the world would be much better place… paz y refleciones…

    • Three Sonorans
      April 22, 2011

      I agree with Vato… all the transparency already exists. Try looking on the TUSD website for tons of budget sheets instead of the talking points Stegeman is giving you.
      Stegeman should focus on the part of the PUP that says to leave MAS classes alone. He should focus on other issues, the deseg monies are free for the district, so what’s he complaining about? I hear the state is cutting budgets, how about he look there, or he try listening to the unions instead of ignoring them and firing teachers?

      • Three Sonorans
        April 22, 2011

        In case you need help, you go to the TUSD website, click on “Information”, then click on “Finances”. Under “Budget Book” you can find the budget, surprisingly, and Section 14 is Deseg monies, tons and tons of pages on how ALL the money is spent…
        I’ll help you out some more. Just click here: http://www.tusd.k12.az.us/contents/distinfo/budget/budget.html
        The sunshine has been shining through… transparency and all that, for some time already.

      • Pamela Powers
        April 22, 2011

        I think what they mean by “sunshine” is that it is a matter of public record in a public meeting– not just information on a website. Yes, websites are public, but you must admit they require skills, hardware, and software. Also, websites change and disappear all the time. A permanent record is a permanent record.

  6. Pingback: More on the Ethnic Studies funding debate – Tucson Citizen | The Write Article

  7. Pingback: In Mexican American Studies debate, Tucsonans need less spin and more truth - Tucson Progressive

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This entry was posted on April 22, 2011 by in Arizona, education, Tucson, TUSD and tagged , , .

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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