HAYWARD — More than 150 parents, teachers and children crammed into City Hall chambers Monday night to show their support of the Hayward Unified School District’s quest to keep its bilingual education programs as they are.
Many parents in the mostly Latino crowd learned to read, write and speak English while retaining their native Spanish language as students in Hayward, and hoped that their children could do the same.
“I transferred my child so that she could get bilingual education classes (at) Burbank Elementary,” said Kathy Gutierrez, whose daughter was to attend Shepherd School. “I just want to thank you for your support (of bilingual programs).”
School trustees held Monday’s public hearing in hopes of obtaining a waiver for requirements under Proposition 227, the initiative written by Silicon Valley millionaire Ron Unz that requires mostly English instruction in California classrooms.
The hearing was held as part of the waiver application process, despite the state Board of Education’s refusal to hear such requests.
Educators here are awaiting an Aug. 27 hearing in which the Hayward, Oakland and Berkeley school districts will ask a judge to compel the state Board of Education to hear waiver requests. The three school districts filed a joint lawsuit last week.
One teacher at Longwood Elementary, which has 47 percent of its enrollment designated as limited in English, said it was important to know “a majority of people whose kids are affected overwhelmingly voted against the proposition.
“For our children, our goal is for them to speak at a high level of English,” the teacher said. “Our goal is to get our children to college (by) developing the language they speak best first, so they can achieve high levels of literacy.”
Gloria Matta Tuchman, who wants to unseat Delaine Eastin as state superintendent of public instruction on Nov. 3, co-wrote Prop. 227.
Trustees unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the measure before voters approved it last month. Alameda and San Francisco were the only counties in the state to vote against it.