From the Social Justice Education Project: STOP DEHUMANIZING LEGISLATION IN ARIZONA

FROM THE SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION PROJECT
DIRECT LINK: http://socialjusticeproject.org/SJEP/SOCIAL_JUSTICE_EDUCATION_PROJECT.html

STOP DEHUMANIZING LEGISLATION IN ARIZONA

Call to Action,

There have been two legislative bills introduced with intentions of not only

eliminating ethnic/raza studies but also eliminating non-citizen children from

our public schools. Both of the legislative bills are supported by Arizona

senate and house representatives who have never placed themselves in

ethnic/raza studies classrooms. They are straightforward blatantly hateful and

intentionally discriminatory to all Latinos/Chican@s regardless of citizenship

status.

HB 2281 (bill attacking ethnic/raza studies) states that any course, class,

instruction, or material may not be primarily designed for pupils of a

particular ethnic group as determined by the State Superintendent of

Instruction. State aid will be withheld from any school district or charter

school that does not comply.

SB 1097 (bill attacking non-citizen students) states that the Department of

Education will collect data on school districts’ populations of non-citizen

students and their identities. Data will include research on impact of

non-citizen students’ enrollment, and cost to taxpayers per non-citizen

student. Based on these data reports the State Superintendent of Instruction

can withhold state aid for those non-citizen students.

As several of us may already know, Arizona’s State Superintendent of

Instruction, Tom Horne, has come out publicly in support of

legislation similar

to this and may very well be behind these two bills. The legislative bills can

be found online here:

http://azleg.gov/formatdocument.asp?indoc=/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/hb2281p.htm

http://azleg.gov/formatdocument.asp?indoc=/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1097p.htm

For those of you sincerely concerned about the right to a quality and

significant education for all students please take a moment of your time to

contact members of the senate and house in protest of these bills and share

this email.

Russell Pearce

rpearce

(602) 926-5760

Pamela Gorman

pgorman

(602) 926-5284

Steve B. Montenegro

Phone Number: (602) 926-5955

smontenegro

stevemontenegro

Frank Antenori

(602) 926-5683

fantenori

Doris Goodale

(602) 926-5408

dgoodale

Jerry Weiers

(602) 926-5894

jpweiers

David Gowan

(602) 926-3312

dgowan

David W. Stevens

(602) 926-4321

dstevens

Judy M. Burges

(602) 926-5861

jburges

"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I

was not a communist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I

did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist; Then they

came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out."

A NOTE FROM

Dr. Angela Valenzuela, Director

National Latino/a Education Research Agenda Project"

If the state of Arizona is serious about improving student achievement, banning ethnic studies is the wrong path.

Rather than limiting students knowledge of, and access to, intellectual content, that connects to students’ lives

Keeps them engaged in school. Research, experience, and common sense show that building, rather than, tearing

down bridges to the regular (state) curriculum promises to expand children’s competencies.

They become better writers and readers. They expand their vocabularies, grammars and become conversant in many areas as

their brains make important connections to concepts, facts, ideas, and opinions across the entire curriculum.

A common problem in our schools is that they dispirit youth with a drill-and-kill test-focused, reductive approach.

This is wasteful when we consider that many of these youth are bilingual learners who are poised to capitalize

on the kinds of skills and competencies that our global economic, social, and political realities demand.

To counter this, we [the undersigned?] need the kind of knowledge and engagement that Raza Studies provides.

Rather than cutting children off from valuable, life-enriching opportunities to learn about who and where they are in time and place, we should be democratizing students’ access to the knowledge they need to have to find their place in this world as contributing, productive members.

Dr. Angela Valenzuela, Director

National Latino/a Education Research Agenda Project

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