Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal during a panel discussion on transforming the state's educational system in February.


Arizona Schools Chief John Huppenthal has ordered that 10 percent of TUSD’s monthly state aid be withheld as a result of its Mexican American Studies Program.

The decision, which was released Friday, could cost Tucson’s largest school district millions.

Huppenthal maintained his original position that the contentious program is in violation of state law, saying the courses promote racial resentment, are designed primarily for one ethnic group and advocate for ethnic solidarity instead of treating pupils as individuals.

“For the educational well-being of all TUSD students and to ensure its schools receive the adequate resources they need to deliver a quality education, I strongly urge the TUSD Governing Board to take decisive and immediate action to come into compliance,” Huppenthal said.

Huppenthal did not offer a clear remedy as to how the district can come into compliance. He noted that he hoped the board would develop “a transparent, public process to ensure that all curriculum and course materials align with state education standards and applicable laws and are thoroughly vetted by educators, curriculum experts and the local community.”