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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) The Texas Board of Education is considering a proposal to add a Mexican-American studies course as a statewide high school elective.

Proponents say the move would give students a deeper understanding of their state, where Hispanics make up 51 percent of public school students and which was once part of Mexico.

Critics dismiss the proposal as an attempt to inject progressive politics into the classroom.

The board's 10 Republicans and five Democrats are holding a public hearing Tuesday. Nearly 40 people were testifying in favor of the course, including the president of the Houston school board.

Only one person testifying opposes it.

Still, board members said the proposal faces long odds to pass. The vote is Wednesday.

Mexican-American culture is already taught in history and other high school classes.