Arizona official says ethnic studies violates law

June 15, 2011 - 6:56 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's schools chief says an ethnic studies program in Tucson violates a new state law.

Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal's decision Wednesday gives the Tucson Unified School District two months to comply with the law, which says classes cannot advocate ethnic solidarity or promote ethnic resentment.

The district faces losing 10 percent of its annual state funding — or about $15 million — unless changes are made.

The district has said it would appeal if Huppenthal sided with his predecessor Tom Horne and ruled against its Mexican-American Studies program.

Supporters of the program have criticized Horne's decision as an attack against Arizona's Hispanic population.

The battle over the ethnic studies program escalated shortly after Arizona's heavily-scrutinized immigration law was passed in April 2010.