SACRAMENTO–The State Board of Education declined Friday to hear petitions from school districts seeking exemptions from the anti-bilingual education initiative that passed overwhelmingly on June 2.

By a 6-0 vote, board members said that Proposition 227 would be binding on all of California’s 8,000 schools. Several school districts had sought relief from the measure to keep all or part of their bilingual classes intact.

Critics of the initiative, which ends most bilingual programs in public schools, have filed suit in federal court to block its implementation. A hearing is set July 15.

“It is clear that neither the proposition nor the state Constitution grants us the authority to waive any part of this new law,” said Robert L. Trigg, vice president of the state board.

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