TUSD Meeting Tonight: Come for the Burritos, Stay For the Vote

Just in case it didn't strike you as offensive when Tucson Unified School District governing board member Michael Hicks shared his concerns during a recent interview on The Daily Show that Mexican-American studies teachers feed their students burritos in order to create a strong bond (because, you know, that's the power burritos have over Mexican-Americans) ... well come on down tonight to the TUSD administration building at 1010 E. 10th St. and find out if it works on you.

A coalition of MAS supporters — AFSCME Local 449, Casa Maria, Citizens for Educational Excellence, Derechos Humanos, Fortin de las Flores, Las Adelitas Arizona, Save Ethnic Studies, Social Justice Education Project (SJEP), Tucson High MEChA, and U.N.I.D.O.S — are hosting a burrito taradeada at 6 p.m.

Hey, the burritos are free, and if you've ever questioned the power that MAS classes have had in changing students' lives, just one bite from these burritos is guaranteed to change your mind.

Oh, if only burritos were that magical. If they were, then surely, they'd be able to prevent tonight's expected firing of MAS program director and co-founder Sean Arce. The district gave Arce a nonrenewal notice — which, TUSD critics point out, is what happens when you speak out in support of your targeted program.

Arce is one of the 11 teacher plaintiffs who filed a federal lawsuit against the state last year in order to get the anti-Mexican-American studies law removed due to the fact that it's unconstitutional. Arce's daughter is also one of three high school plaintiffs that helped convince U.S. District Court Judge A. Wallace Tashima that the lawsuit should remain in play since the students are being denied the classes.

Coincidentally, Arce was recently given the 2012 Myles Horton Award for Teaching People's History for Teaching People's History.