Students at Windsor’s special bilingual school resumed their
normal studies Monday after the state Board of Education named the
program a charter school, thus exempting it from the English-only
provisions of Proposition 227.

“I can’t tell you how excited we are,” said Windsor Superintendent
Rick Brewer.

The state Board of Education on Friday approved the charter school
request of Cali Calmecac Immersion School. The K-8 school teaches
English- and Spanish-speaking students to become fluent in both

Charter schools are exempt from many of the requirements of the
state’s education laws. That includes Proposition 227, which
requires students with limited ability in English to be taught in

Thus, Cali Calmecac on Monday was able to resume its normal
program where all students learn subjects in Spanish as well as
English. Until the state board acted, the school had complied with
the law by teaching students solely in English or by obtaining
parental waivers for older limited-English students. The school will
continue to obtain such waivers, Brewer said.

Cali Calmecac was one of about 10 schools to receive charter
status, including five from the dual immersion program schools,
Brewer said. The school becomes the 162nd charter school in the
state and the eighth in Sonoma County.

Five Windsor representatives, including a school board member and
a Cali graduate, attended Friday’s meeting.

Other school officials fared less well Friday in their efforts to
win exemptions from Proposition 227. The state board members, all
appointees of Gov. Pete Wilson, set aside requests by four Bay Area
districts that sought waivers from carrying out the initiative.
Instead, the board members voted to appeal a court ruling that orders
they must consider such waivers.

Brewer suggested Windsor succeeded in its request because the
state board has demonstrated “tremendous support for charter schools
and tremendous support for schools of choice.”

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