English education backer endorses Horne, criticizes Molera

PHOENIX—A California businessman who championed an Arizona ballot measure limiting bilingual education on Thursday endorsed a challenger to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jaime Molera.

Ron Unz said Molera has failed to enforce the voter-approved law, a charge which Molera said was unfounded. Unz endorsed former state Rep. Tom Horne, saying Horne has pledged to vigorously enforce the law which appeared as Proposition 203 on the November 2000 ballot. “Now’s the time for Arizona’s elected officials to start obeying the law and enforcing it.”

Molera has failed to crack down on school districts still teaching many Hispanic students in Spanish instead of English and abusing the law’s waiver provisions, Ron Unz said.

Molera said Unz was ignoring new laws he supported on school accountability and English learning.

Also, Molera said, Proposition 203 was riddled with loopholes and lacked enforcement mechanisms. “What he wants is just somebody who is going to attack these schools because he’s got a vendetta against them.”

Unz said he planned to donate to Horne’s campaign but would not make any large expenditures to publicize his concerns with Molera.

Molera, Horne and former state Sen. Keith Bee will face each other in the Sept. 10 GOP primary.

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