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English for the Children

of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: LINCOLN TAMAYO
1-978-468-9681

NOVEMBER 13, 2001

PR #2

Anti-Bilingual Education Petition Gathers Over 100,000 Signatures, Completes Petition Drive

Boston, MA---The leaders of English for the Children of Massachusetts announced that they had finished gathering over 100,000 signatures of Commonwealth voters in support of their initiative petition to replace the state’s thirty-year-old system of bilingual education with a program of intensive sheltered English immersion.

Chairman Lincoln Tamayo released a statement announcing that initial reviews by Massachusetts town clerks had indicated that the validity rate of those signatures was running at better than 80%, a rate extraordinarily high by Massachusetts standards. "Since we only need 57,000 valid signatures, our measure is virtually certain to be on the November 2002 ballot."

Chairman Tamayo also announced the results of a new statewide poll by the non-partisan MassInsight organization, finding that the ballot measure currently leads by 77% to 14%. "These are strong, strong numbers, far greater than the support shown by early polls in California and Arizona, where previous initiatives triumphed. We believe we have an excellent chance of winning a landslide victory at the ballot next year. The days of our state’s massively entrenched bilingual education industry are clearly numbered, and we will soon begin giving our immigrant children real educational opportunities."

Finally, Tamayo especially thanked California software entrepreneur Reed Hastings for his generous financial support to the Massachusetts initiative campaign. Hastings, a liberal Democrat who serves as president of the California State Board of Education, had originally opposed the 1998 California initiative, but the dramatic subsequent rise in immigrant test scores had convinced him of the benefits of English immersion. As a Boston native, Hastings endorsed the Massachusetts initiative and contributed $20,000, establishing him as one of the largest financial donors to the campaign.

 

English for the Children of Massachusetts

Tel: 1-978-468-9681

Web: http://www.English4Children.org E-Mail: [email protected]