Prop 58: Other Languages Allowed in Public Education

Prop 58: Other Languages Allowed in Public Education


Coachella Valley Region

Should public education be English only? That’s question you’ll have to ask yourself come November. 

Proposition 58 or L.E.A.R.N. (Language, Education Acquisition and Readiness Now) essentially repeals most of Proposition 227 passed in 1998 that bans teachers from using other languages in the classroom. 

Mona Davidson, president of the Desert Sands Teachers Association, one of many teachers unions for it, says this is a win win for teachers and students, "It’s going to open up lots and lots of opportunities for the English language learners for the teachers and the parents to be the ones able to determine the best type of instruction."

Davidson says Prop. 58 will benefit all students, "Unfortunately the unintended consequences of 227 also limited restrictions on language immersion when it came to foreign languages." 

People against it point to the progress made by English only teaching including higher test scores. 

CEO of U.S. English Mauro Mujica says not immersing students in a country’s primary language can be detrimental to the student, not allowing them to assimilate quickly and pushing them further behind, "It’s easier for a kid to learn if they’re in total immersion because the only time they have to learn English is  while they’re in school and they will be slowed down if they’re being taught English along with Spanish."

Mujica, who speaks five languages, says he’s all for students who are fluent in English learning a second or third language in public classrooms. 

He says instead of repealing Prop. 227, it should be modified to allow for this, "I hope Prop 58 fails because it has to be modified."

Proponents, like Davidson say Prop. 227 has had its day, "Prop. 227 maybe served well in its time but it’s time for a change."