Campaign Digest: Riordan favors Proposition 227

Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan on Thursday announced his support for Proposition 227, the June primary election ballot measure that would largely eliminate bilingual education in California’s public schools.

Riordan, a Republican, announced his endorsement of the measure, sponsored by Silicon Valley software entrepreneur Ron Unz, during a speech to a Los Angeles business group.

Contending that a “bureaucratic web has enveloped bilingual education,” Riordan said it’s “time to start giving our children the tools to compete — for today and tomorrow.”

“To compete on a level playing field — in school, in university work, and in the workplace — students deserve access to the English language as quickly as possible,” Riordan said.

If approved by voters, Proposition 227’s main provision would require schools statewide to implement English-immersion instruction for students with limited English-speaking proficiency.

The measure has garnered strong support in early polls but is opposed by many education groups, including the California Teachers Association and the California School Boards Association.

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