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.