New chief of public schools says Tucson school district violating ethnic studies ban


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TUCSON, Arizona — The new chief of Arizona public schools says she agrees with her predecessor's claim that the Tucson Unified School District is violating a state ban on ethnic studies.

But Diane Douglas supports ethnic studies and said the state education department approves of curriculum used by TUSD. The problem is with the way the curriculum is taught in classes, Douglas said. She said teachers' lessons plans and classroom materials don't reflect the courses that focus on culturally-relevant subjects from the Latino and African-American perspectives.

Douglas says TUSD has 60 days to correct course or risk losing 10 percent in funding. Former Superintendent John Huppenthal issued the violation notice during his last day in office.

School district Superintendent H.T. Sanchez said the curriculum follows a federal racial desegregation order requiring culturally relevant courses.

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