NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Education Establishment Resists English In California

December 15, 1998

Observers report that the education establishment in California is doing all it can to avoid compliance with the recently- approved Prop. 227 -- which was designed to replace failing bilingual programs with English immersion in the classroom.

  • Although the initiative was approved by 61 percent of the state's voters six months ago, the state teachers' union filed a federal lawsuit on December 3 claiming that the law is unconstitutionally vague and that teachers shouldn't be held personally responsible for teaching in English.
  • The day after the election, several school districts, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund sued to have Prop. 227 overturned.
  • Some officials, such as San Francisco's school superintendent, have flatly refused to obey the law.
  • Before Prop. 227 passed, California spent $300 million a year on bilingual programs.

The new law allows parents to sign waivers to keep their children in bilingual programs. While no one knows for sure how many have done so, state officials estimate that about 10 percent have sought waivers.

Source: Editorial, "California's Unaccountable Educrats," Investor's Business Daily, December 15, 1998.


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