Horne spends last day as schools chief targeting Ethnic Studies

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Monday was a busy last day of work for former Arizona schools chief Tom Horne, the state's new Attorney General.

He called on Tucson Unified School District to eliminate its Mexican-American studies program, citing a ten page document on why its illegal.

Just hours before he was sworn in as Arizona Attorney General former state schools chief Tom Horne fired a farewell shot at TUSD's Ethnic Studies program, specifically the Mexican-American studies classes.

"Today I am announcing that decision which will give the district 60 days to come within compliance," said Horne.

Horne has long targeted the Mexican-American studies program for elimination.

If TUSD fails to comply within 60 days they could face district-wide budget cuts.

"After those 60 days it will be up to the new Superintendent John Huppenthal to decide if he wants to cut off funding," said Horne.  "If he does, the district would lose 10% of its funding which is just short of $15 million."

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Ethnic Studies supporters accused Horne of only targeting them.

"It reflects a personal agenda on someone who's leaving office and has chosen to take one last swing at these 11 educators," said attorney Richard Martinez.

Horne believes the classes, which substitute for American history, polarize racial tensions by demonizing Anglo culture.

"It is fundamentally wrong to divide students by race and teach them separately," said Horne.

Attorney Richard Martinez who represents the eleven Mexican-American studies teachers disagrees.

"Comprise what is it that the educators do in their classroom that needs to compromise," said Martinez.

Such a compromise will need to be discussed between new state Superintendent JohnHuppenthal and new TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone.

TUSD plans to head to court to appeal the decision to withhold funding.