Vote yes on Proposition 58.

Proposition 58 removes restrictions enacted by an earlier proposition, thus freeing schools to find the best ways to teach students who are not native English speakers.

Proposition 227, passed in 1998, required English learners to have one year of intensive English instruction then placed in English-only classes. The only way a student could be in a bilingual class – where the teacher speaks both English and another language and teaches in both – was by signing a waiver.

Proposition 58 would allow schools to use a variety of programs – including bilingual programs – to teach English learners. They would still need to provide intensive English classes if parents requested them and schools would be required to ask parents and other community members for their input on how English learners are taught.

Opponents fear that English would become less important. We doubt that. Most parents – and students – know that to succeed in the long-term, they need to be able to speak and understand English.

We think Proposition 58 gives schools get a bit more local control and the ability to respond to what their students and parents want and need. Those are good things.

Vote yes on Proposition 58.

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