Ban on bilingual ed still facing challenge

Court to revisit title of ballot measure

A California businessman’s quest to banish bilingual education from Colorado took a step forward last week, but his opponents still say his ballot proposal is misleading.

Ron Unz has never been shy about saying he thinks bilingual education – using students’ native languages in the classroom to help them learn English – retards their progress. The problem with the constitutional amendment Unz is trying to get onto the November ballot, opponents say, is that its wording isn’t equally straightforward.

Responding to a complaint by English Plus, a group that says classroom practices should be decided locally, the state Supreme Court last month threw out the long title the state’s Title Board set for the measure. The board came back last week with a simpler title.

Unz said Wednesday the new title is fine with him. But English Plus will file another challenge, spokesman John Britz said.

While the new title tells voters that Colorado students are to be taught in English, it doesn’t say that the proposal’s real aim is to ban bilingual teaching methods, Britz said.

‘The Supreme Court has demanded that they deal with that issue, and the proponents don’t address that,’ Britz said.

A hearing is set for Wednesday, Britz said.

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