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English for the Children of Arizona

"English for the Children" Submits 165,000 Signatures for Arizona Ballot Initiative

(520) 294-7212

Tuesday, June 27, 2000.

Phoenix, AZ---Leaders of a proposed ballot initiative dismantling Arizona’s 30-year-old system of bilingual education today submitted some 165,000 signatures with the Arizona Secretary of State, far more than the 101,000 required to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

The measure, which would require that all non-English-speaking children in Arizona public schools be taught English immediately through Structured Immersion under normal circumstances, is modeled after Proposition 227, a California initiative that won a 61% landslide in 1998. Arizona polls have shown 70% support for the measure, which was also recently endorsed by Rep. Matt Salmon.

Campaign Chair Maria Mendoza, a long-time Hispanic community activist from Tucson, was overjoyed at the result. "After so many years of effort, we are now just over four months away from ensuring that all our Hispanic children are taught English in school."

Campaign Co-Chair Hector Ayala, a Tucson high school teacher agreed. "For decades, bilingual education has been a disastrous burden on the children of our community, a burden which the voters will finally remove this November."

High school principal Margaret Garcia Dugan, leader of the campaign for Maricopa County, pointed out that the test scores of 1.4 million Hispanic students have risen dramatically in California since the passage of the measure in that state. "We are sure our state’s Hispanic students will do just as well once the schools are required to teach them English."

At present, over 100,000 Arizona students are classified as not knowing English, and of these, on average less than 5% each year successfully learn English.

English for the Children of Arizona

Tel: 520-294-7212

Web: www.OneNation.org E-Mail: [email protected]