This is a breakdown of each CA Proposition as researched by Debra Dowdy. She has taken the time to research the facts as given by the Ballot Initiatives and information available on ballotpedia.org. At the end of the description, she and I give our vote for each Proposition. There is also a linkable list of Propositions at the bottom of the post. We hope this will help you learn more about these important initiatives. Please leave a comment with your thoughts and vote!
CA Proposition 58. Multilingual Education.
A yes vote on this one is a vote to repeal 1998’s Proposition 227 that required English-only immersion teaching for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students in our schools. Prop 59 is being put foward by our Legislature.
Prop 227 required English immersion classes. It mandated a shortened time frame to move kids from special classes to regular classes. Parents do have the right to request a bilingual class for their child by signing a waiver. (There are conditions to be able to use the waiver.)
Prop 58 would allow schools to use bilingual programs. Schools would be mandated to make sure kids are English proficient eventually. It would require schools to solicit input from parents and the community. It would allow parents to choose which class they’d like their child to attend. A side benefit is that it would allow English speakers to learn another language by putting them in a bilingual class.
It’s supported by Democrats, unions and schools. Republicans and Libertarians oppose it.
I started by investigating which method–immersion or bilingual–was best. All the studies I looked at were inconclusive. So no help there. I did see comments about how there’s a history of kids having been forced into bilingual classes and then languishing there and never really learning English. On the other hand, if you dropped me into an environment where everyone only spoke Mandarin, I’d be very confused and frustrated and not learning much.
It looks like under either the old or new system, the parents have the choice and that’s important to me. They know their child best. So I’m thinking either way I win. I only lean to not changing the current system because there will inevitably be costs involves to change it and we need to watch our budget.
Debra Dowdy is voting –
Chris Dowdy is voting – No
Links to all other CA Proposition for the 2016 Ballot: