Tucson Magnet High School seniors Crystal Echerivel, left and Maria Teresa Mejia, both 17, chant as they walk down East Congress Street as part of a march in support of the Mexican American Studies program at TUSD. The school district was to decide Tuesday what to do with the program after the state declared it was illegal and said it would cut funding to the district if it did not comply with state law.

Photo by A.E. Araiza/Arizona Daily Star

The Tucson Unified School District board voted 4-1 to immediately suspend the Mexican American Studies program tonight rather than risk the loss of up to $15 million in state education funding.

Board member Adelita Grijalva cast the only dissenting vote.

Students currently enrolled in the controversial program will be transferred to other classes.

The board also agreed to create a significant, comprehensive social studies program that covers additional ethnic groups to replace Mexican American Studies.

Nearly 200 people packed the board hearing room, with another 100 forced to stand outside due to the room's capacity limits, most of them supporters of the program. The vote was met with angry chants and name calling directed at the board.

The program was found illegal by Arizona Schools Chief John Huppenthal on grounds it promotes racial disharmony, opening the way for the state to withhold 10 percent of the district's funding until it came into compliance.

For more on this story see Wednesday's Arizona Daily Star