Special Master, Judge Reject Petition to Reinstate MAS Classes

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U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury issued an order on Wednesday, Feb. 29 that Mexican-American studies classes do not have to be reinstated immediately based on a letter he received Feb. 23 from the court-appointed special master Willis D. Hawley.

Bury's order was in response to a petition filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund based on the TUSD Jan. 10 decision to suspend the classes claiming the move was "out of compliance with the Post Unitary Status Plan."

Hawley, the court-appointed special master charged with developing and putting into place a unitary status plan for Tucson Unified School District,wrote in his letter that he acknowledge that the TUSD governing board decision represents "a violation of the Orders of the Court," and offered recommendations on what action the judge may way to pursue. However, Hawley wrote he does not recommend that Brury reinstate the MAS classes at this time.

"Such reinstatement would further disrupt the education of of the students involved and would impede the development of the Unitary Status Plan," Hawley wrote.

He continued that in his UPS will include "effective strategies for moving forward to ensure a quality education for all of the district's students, the majority of whom are Mexican American. "To place the focus on the USP process, you may want to direct all parties, once again, to participate fully in developing the USP as described in your September 14 and January 6 Orders."

Bury wrote in his order that "some provision in the PUSP were not implemented or only partially implemented by the District, and that on January 10, 2012, the District Governing Board adopted a Resolution to discontinue classes offered by (MASD). This Resolution discontinued courses that had been approved as part of the PUSP."

Then he notes the resolution was in response to State Superintendent John Huppenthal's order prohibiting the classes and threat to take away $4.9 million in state funding.

You can read Brury's order here MALDEF_filing.pdf and Hawley's letter here special_master.pdf.

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