Bilingual Education Support
Running at Under 4% Among Immigrant Parents in Los Angeles and Orange
CONTACT: SHERI ANNIS
Thursday, October 22, 1998.
Los Angeles---Five months after the passage of Proposition 227, only about
4%---or 12,000---of the parents of limited-English children in the huge
Los Angeles Unified School District have applied for waivers to return their
children to bilingual classes.
LAUSD is the school district containing the nation's largest concentration
of limited-English students, and has been among the earliest and strongest
supporters of bilingual teaching methods. Now despite a major organized
effort by bilingual teachers to encourage parents to apply for exemption
waivers, some 96% have failed to do so, indicating little apparent support
for traditional bilingual programs.
Long Beach Unified, the second largest school district in LA County, has
received virtually no waiver requests at all. This pattern continues in
Orange County, which contains California's second largest concentration
of limited-English students, some 150,000. There, waiver requests are running
at just 2%. However, several smaller districts in other areas of the state
have generated much higher levels of parental waiver requests.
Prop. 227 Chairman Ron Unz expressed considerable satisfaction with these
results. "Despite a massive, organized effort by the supporters of
bilingual education to maintain their failed program in Southern California,
immigrant parents have been voting with their feet for English. Contrary
to the falsehoods of our opponents, Prop. 227 was never intended to end
all bilingual programs, just the 98% or so which didn't work. Now within
months of the election, we've seen 90% of LA's bilingual programs vanish,
and that's a very encouraging start."
However, Unz cautioned that LA's bilingual education industry may try other
avenues of resistance. "Since they haven't had much luck persuading
parents to apply for bilingual programs, there's a lot of evidence that
they're trying to force-feed them bilingual education under another name.
We're hoping to put a stop to such blatant consumer fraud in education,
which is completely illegal under Prop. 227."
English for the Children | Proposition
3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite #370,
Los Angeles, CA 90034 Tel: 310-737-1949 Fax: 310-737-1959