In 1998, California voters passed Proposition 227, which required parents to sign a waiver if they wanted to keep their children in a bilingual classroom, without that waiver, English Leaner Students were automatically placed in English only classrooms.
The argument in 1998 was that bilingual education delayed a students’ ability to read, write and understand proper English, thus delaying their ability to compete in school, graduate from high school and be successful when taking college placement tests.
20 years later, parents go out of their way to help their children become multilingual – often times enrolling them in after school or weekend language courses. With the passage of Proposition 58, the era of English-only teaching will end and the reintroduction of instruction in both English and a second language will be an option for millions of California parents.
Should Proposition 58 pass, the next great concern, will there be enough teachers?