Daily 49er

On the propositions: Proposition 58

California Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education Act.

Caitlyn Mendoza, Staff Writer

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Californians will be voting on allowing public schools to teach in languages other than English this November.

The California Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education Act, which will be on the ballot as Proposition 58, would repeal most of Proposition 227, known as the English Language in Public Schools Statute. Passed in 1998, Prop. 227 established English as the only language used in public education in California.

If Proposition 58 passes, California schools districts will have the option to establish dual-language programs in schools, if the community expresses the need for it. In bilingual education, teachers speak both their students native language and English.

Supporters say multilingual education encourages “intercultural interactions and empathy.”

Additionally, supporters claim that this proposition will allow all students to become proficient in English as soon as possible, since it would authorize school districts to establish dual-language immersion programs for both native and non-native English speakers. Thus, non-native speakers would learn English and native-English speakers would learn a second language.

Those against the proposition say that children should be taught English in public schools and bilingual education may mean that some non-native English speaking children will never learn how to read, write or speak English properly.

Opponents also argue that this proposition would overturn policies that actually improve language education. Since the adoption of Proposition 227 “English for the Children” in 1998, opponents say that there has been a huge increase in Latinx students scoring high enough on verbal exams to gain admission to the University of California system.

As of right now, Yes on 58 has raised $1.1 million, with $500,000 coming from the California Teachers Association/Issues PAC. Other groups that are supporting this proposition include the California Democratic Party, the California Faculty Association and California Chamber of Commerce.

However, the California Republican Party and Libertarian Party of California oppose the measure, but have not raised any money against this proposition.

California Governor Jerry Brown, Congressman Alan Lowenthal of District 47 — which includes Long Beach —  and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia strongly support Proposition 58. Additionally, educational institutions such as San Diego State University, the Los Angeles Unified School District and San Francisco Unified School District have come out in support of the proposition.

*This article is part of a weekly series informing students on the propositions up for vote on the November ballot.

**All information comes from Ballotpedia.com, a nonprofit organization that provides nonpartisan information on American politics and elections.

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