Proposition 58: Allow Non-English Languages in Public Education
Available once the California Secretary of State has certified the election. This can take up to 3 weeks or more.
Preserves requirement that public schools ensure students obtain English language proficiency. Requires school districts to solicit parent/community input in developing language acquisition programs. Requires instruction to ensure English acquisition as rapidly and effectively as possible. Authorizes school districts to establish dual–language immersion programs for both native and non–native English speakers. Fiscal Impact: No notable fiscal effect on school districts or state government.
Supporters of Proposition 58 believe that the requirements of Proposition 227 (1998) limiting bilingual education are outdated in an era of increased globalization, when the native bilingualism of California students will be an asset. They also believe that the reasons given for Proposition 227 for English immersion were largely based on myths regarding student acquisition of an additional language.
Opponents of Proposition 58 claim that students who are surrounded by English speakers learn English more quickly than if they are with other foreign language students. They believe that English should be the primary language of the United States. They believe that English proficiency needs to be a priority and that Proposition 227 (1998) has achieved that.