On Tuesday, a few hours after Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto said that Illegal Aliens deserve justice in the USA and Gov. Jerry Brown welcomed all illegal immigrants to California, lawmakers in Sacramento passed a proposed ballot measure seeking to dismantle the English-only mandate for public schools and increase multilingual education programs.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Los Angeles), chairman of the Latino Legislative Caucus, asserted “I think Californians’ attitudes have changed and they understand the need, now that we are in a global economy, to have a multilingual workforce.” Moreover, Lara says the timing is right “to revisit multilingualism, bilingualism and language immersion programs.”
Senate Republican leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar called the bill “an end run around the vote of the people.” He believes that the language in the proposed ballot measure would make it easy for legislators to eliminate the English language instruction law by a simple majority vote, reported the Times.
The proposal by California lawmakers is designed to jettison the 1998 law which required English-only instruction in California classrooms. Many believe that inserting Spanish into the classroom only delays and hinders learning for English as second language children.