Tom Horne and John Huppenthal's Ethnic Studies War: Fate of MAS in Federal Judge's Hands, Yet Again

Meaning that a brand spanking new ethnic studies program would require another adverse finding by Huppenthal. The Arizona Department of Education would have to investigate the program anew to see if it complies with the law, before Hupp could withhold state money to the district.

Indeed, in July, Bury blocked Horne from intervening in the desegregation case on behalf of the State of Arizona.

Which surely frustrates General Horne-dog no end. Heck, in the case Martinez is involved in, Horne defended the law in oral arguments before federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima in April, rather than allowing one of his better-qualified underlings to do so.

Eight months later, we're still waiting for Tashima's decision.

Now, what about that Tuesday vote by the TUSD's governing board, and the Byzantine, back-stabbing world of Tucson politics that surrounds it?

As you can see from the video above, pro-MAS activists such as David Abie Morales of the renowned Three Sonorans blog were initially jubilant over what they perceived as a victory.

TUSD, which is represented by former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini's law firm DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, initially had objected to the language opening the door to a new MAS program.

But a majority of the board supports the program, as evidenced by its 3-2 vote negating the objection. At least that's what most board members and some local reporters and observers believed had happened.

Now TUSD's administration and some of the board members are saying that's not what happened at all, that the 3-2 vote merely canned additional objections by board member and MAS-enemy Mark Stegeman.

But Morales, Martinez and others argue that was not the clear intent of the board, nor is it what occurred in reality.

Board member and MAS-supporter Adelita Grijalva told the Arizona Daily Star that the board will vote on the matter again when it sits in January, and that since the newly-elected board members are solidly pro-MAS, the outcome will be emphatic and clear up any confusion.

(You may recall that the very same board killed MAS in January, bowing to an edict from Huppenthal that they end the program or face a debilitating 10 percent cut to its funding.)

What will all this mean to Judge Bury? That's the big question, as many MAS supporters fear the DeConcini law firm will maintain that the objection to creating a new MAS program stands, and argue that the Tuesday vote indicates this.

Hopefully, Bury will be wise enough to see beyond all the posturing and spin, and do what's best for the kids and the community, which just happens to be what the special master and the plaintiffs suggest: the return of Mexican American Studies.

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