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New momentum for bilingual education?

California voters approval of Proposition 58 in November means the state's public schools are now free from restrictions on using various forms of bilingual education, most notably for teaching the state's 1.5 million English language learners.

The ballot measure essentially repealed Proposition 227, the 1998 law that made It tougher for districts to offer bilingual education. Students could enroll In dual-language classes only if their parents signed a waiver to opt in.

More than 60% of voters backed the 1998 proposal, which effectively ended many bilingual education programs in California public schools.

But public sentiment has changed in the time since that vote. Dual-language immersion education and an understanding of its benefits have grown in public schools nationwide.

Around the nation, state legislators and school districts have pushed to graduate students who can speak, read, write, and think in more than one language. Since 2012, 23 states have adopted seals of biliteracy, an award granted to students who graduate high school able to read, write, and speak in two or more languages.

Source: Mitchell, C. (2016, November 8). California voters repeal ban on bilingual education. Education Week http://blogs. edweek org/edweek/learningthe-language/2016/11/fate_of_ californias_propositio.html

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Title Annotation:HIGHLIGHTED & UNDERLINED: A notebook of short but worthy items
Publication:Phi Delta Kappan
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Feb 1, 2017
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