CalChamber Takes Position on Proposition 58; Recaps Positions on All Ballot Measures

The California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently voted to support Proposition 58, the California Education for a Global Economy Initiative, on the November 2016 ballot.

The CalChamber Board supports Proposition 58 because California’s economic success depends on its ability to prepare a workforce educated to compete in a global economy.

If approved by voters, Proposition 58 would amend and repeal certain portions of Proposition 227 and add a few new provisions regarding English language instruction. Proposition 227, the “English Language in Public Schools” initiative approved by voters in 1998, mandates that all children in California public schools be taught English by being taught in English unless parents have gone through a waiver process.

Proposition 58 would repeal existing law giving parents/guardians standing to sue for enforcement and making public school administrators and teachers personally liable for failing to provide an English only curriculum. This right to sue has had the effect of doing away with most bilingual programs/classes. Before the passage of Proposition 227, 30% of California’s English Learners were taught in bilingual programs. Ten years after the passage of Proposition 227, about 5% of English Learners were taught in bilingual programs. The California Department of Education reports that of the 10,393 schools currently in California, only 312 offer multilingual programs.

Top education systems in the world all require students to learn multiple languages. Yet California, with its natural reserve of diverse linguistic resources has failed to develop a multilingual workforce.

Sixty-six percent of people around the world speak more than one language while only 20% of people in the U.S. speak multiple languages. Students with a strong proficiency in English who also speak another language are better equipped to compete in the global workforce and offer California employers a more prepared and educated workforce.

CalChamber Highlights Positions on All Ballot Initiatives

Below is a recap of CalChamber’s positions on November 2016 Ballot Measures:

SUPPORT

Proposition 51 — School Bonds

Proposition 52 — State Fees on Hospitals. Federal Medi-Cal Matching Funds

Proposition 54 — Legislative Transparency

Proposition 58 — English Language Education

OPPOSE

Proposition 53 — Revenue Bonds

Proposition 55 — Tax Extension on High Wealth Individuals

Proposition 61 — Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing

NOT TAKING A POSITION

Proposition 56 — Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement

Proposition 57 — Criminal Sentences. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing

Proposition 59 — Campaign Finance. Voter Instruction

Proposition 60 — Adult Films

Proposition 62 — Death Penalty

Proposition 63 — Firearms. Ammunition Sales

Proposition 64 — Marijuana Legalization

Proposition 65 — Carry-Out Bags. Charges

Proposition 66 — Death Penalty. Procedures

Proposition 67 — Referendum to Overturn Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags