Effort to nix English immersion in Arizona finds support

Oct 14, 2019 by

PHOENIX (AP) — Nearly two decades after getting Arizona voters’ approval, a law mandating an English-only education for non-native speakers may get repealed in 2020.

Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman intends to make a repeal a top priority and is seeing support even from some Republicans, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.

Known as Proposition 203, the 2000 ballot measure forced English-language learners to speak only English and spend a year in immersion classes. Bilingual education was banned.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say recent data indicates the English-only approach is not easing students’ struggles. According to the state Department of Education, the 2017 graduation rate of students with limited English proficiency was around 40%.

“Studies are showing more and more that if you can teach students in both languages simultaneously they can do much better in all subjects,” said Republican Rep. Michelle Udall, who chairs the House Education Committee.

Polls taken during the last legislative session indicate that more voters would also be onboard with a repeal, she added.

Source: Effort to nix English immersion in Arizona finds support | WTOP

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