UnidosUS Response to Horne’s State of Education

WASHINGTON, DC— UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, acknowledges Superintendent Horne’s efforts to improve Arizona’s educational system as outlined in his State of Education address. However, we find the initiatives lack depth in addressing the specific needs of Latino students and families, a significant oversight given the substantial and growing Latino population in Arizona.

“Superintendent Horne’s address falls short of incorporating strategies that genuinely uplift Latino students. Without a focused approach that tackles the unique challenges faced by our communities, including the need for bilingual and culturally responsive teachers and equitable disciplinary practices, these initiatives miss the mark on fostering an inclusive and fair educational environment,” said Enrique Davis Mazlum, Arizona State Director of UnidosUS.

The Department’s broad strategies on teacher retention, discipline, and academic proficiency do not adequately address the systemic barriers Latino students face, from disproportionate disciplinary measures to a lack of support for college readiness. Furthermore, the expansion of Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and school safety measures fails to consider the accessibility and specific needs of Latino students.

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“True educational equity requires listening to and addressing the needs of those it aims to support,” Davis Mazlum adds. “Arizona’s education policies must evolve to include targeted, equitable solutions that recognize the potential and address the challenges of Latino students.”

UnidosUS urges a reevaluation of these initiatives, advocating for a more inclusive and comprehensive approach to ensure that Arizona’s educational reforms benefit all students, especially those from underserved Latino communities.