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Huppenthal to announce results of Tucson ethnic studies probe today

Incoming Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal will continue pressuring Tucson schools to get rid of a  controversial ethnic studies program. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal is set late to announce the results of an audit his office commissioned that will show whether Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies program is in violation of state law.

Arizona Department of Education spokesman Andrew LeFevre said the announcement was set for 4 p.m. today to spare Arizona Department of Education employees from the anticipated protests the announcement will bring.

Huppenthal hired Cambium Learning Group in March to perform the audit. The firm wrapped up its work in May, but the report has been kept under wraps for weeks.

One of the firm’s tasks was to determine whether the program was in compliance with HB2281, a 2010 law that bans classes that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government and are race based.

Huppenthal’s predecessor, Attorney General Tom Horne, found the program in violation on his last day in office as superintendent and said eliminating the program would be the only to bring it into compliance.
School districts in violation of the law risk losing 10 percent of their share of state money.

Mark Stegeman, president of the TUSD governing board, said no one expects a favorable decision from Huppenthal.

“We’re assuming the finding will be negative because if it wasn’t negative there’s no reason they would take so long to write it,” Stegeman said.

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