Prop 58 important for multilingual learners

Opinion – The Daily Aztec

Andrea López-Villafaña, Assistant Mundo EditorOctober 19, 2016

In November, voters will decide on Proposition 58, the “English Proficiency and Multilingual Education Initiative.” If passed, it would give California school districts the ability to teach non-native English speakers with the program that it finds most effective and without the need for parental authorization. Parents could still influence how their child is taught under Prop 58 by requesting all English immersion, which the school would be required to provide.
The proposition states that schools would be responsible for teaching English and requires districts to allow parent and community input in the development of programs. School districts, communities and parents would be able to join in on the conversation of how children who are native and non-native English speakers should be educated.
According to the California Department of Education there were approximately 1.37 million English learners in the state during the 2015-2016 school year. It only makes sense that schools adopt programs to better educate these students.
The California Teachers Association and Governor Jerry Brown both support the initiative along with other teacher’s associations.
The current law, Prop 227, requires schools to teach non-native English speakers in English and restricts bilingual programs. Under this law parents who want their children to learn in a bilingual setting must sign waivers to have their child considered for a specific program. In order to be considered students must meet certain requirements.
Inez Kaminski, spokesperson for Prop 58, said that the waiver process was not effective due to long waiting lists and schools often not having bilingual programs.
“Voters should vote yes on Prop 58 because it gives parents the ability to choose a language acquisition program that best suits their child and because Prop 58 requires schools to offer language education methods that suit and fit the language needs of our community,” Kaminski said. “We should be in charge in the first place of …

Read more