TUSD responds to erroneous MAS news reports

By Sergio Arellano-Oros

In reaction to the erroneous news reports by several news outlets, the TUSD Governing Board issued a statement clarifying the events of Tuesday night’s Governing Board meeting and the District’s position on the Mexican American Studies classes.

The TUSD Board “unanimously voted Tuesday night to approve the Joint Proposed Unitary Status Plan as submitted to the court on Dec. 10, subject to the objections noted therein, and set forth in the legal memorandum of objections filed Nov. 9,” according to the District. However, the Arizona Daily Star, KOLD, and KGUN reported that the Board voted against objecting to the core classes.

KGUN’s headline read, “TUSD’s desegregation plan approved, ‘culturally relevant’ core courses unobjected.” The Arizona Daily Star’s headline read, “TUSD OKs new cultural classes.”

Board member Michael Hicks appeared Wednesday on the James T. Harris Show on 104.1 The Truth, and explained the Board’s action. Hicks told Harris that the vote was basically just a “symbolic vote” to tell the community that the Board objected to the inclusion of the classes in the Unitary Status Plan. “Last night’s vote didn’t mean anything.”

Mark Stegeman had wanted the vote, but according to Board insiders other Board members saw the move has a political stunt by Stegeman.

The November 9 legal memorandum includes objections to the culturally relevant course requirement and the term “core.” The board also voted to approve two new objections in regards to hiring timelines of district personnel and the creation of a task force.

The final draft of the Unitary Status Plan will be submitted to the federal court on December 14.