California Chamber of Commerce-supported Proposition 58 has newspapers across the state publishing editorials urging a “yes” vote on the measure.
Proposition 58 amends and repeals portions of Proposition 227, the initiative approved by voters in June 1998 to mandate 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 repeals 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.
CalChamber Reasons for Position
California’s economic success depends on its ability to prepare a workforce educated to compete in a global economy. 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. The right to sue for enforcement under Prop. 227 has had the effect of doing away with most bilingual programs.
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.
Following are excerpts from some of the newspaper editorials supporting Proposition 58:
- East Bay Express: Yes on 58. “Prop. 58 will be beneficial to all students, English and non-native speakers alike, and will help them compete in the workforce where being bilingual is crucial.” October 11, 2016
- The Fresno Bee: ‘Yes’ vote on Prop. 58 will ease school language barriers “Language instruction must keep up so California students can compete in the global economy. Proposition 58 will help.” September 25, 2016
- Los Angeles Times: Proposition 58 would bring back bilingual education in California. And that’s a good thing. “Parents would be more empowered under the initiative to have a voice in their children’s education than they were under the old system, and they’re unlikely to settle for programs that aren’t teaching their children English skills.” September 7, 2016
- The Sacramento Bee: Give students and parents more choice “When it comes to California’s public schools, the question should always be: What’s best for students? By that measuring stick, voters should support Proposition 58.” September 21, 2016
- San Francisco Chronicle: Chronicle recommends: Yes on Prop. 58 “Prop 58… removes the bureaucratic barriers to allowing school districts to offer dual-language immersion programs for native and non-native English speakers.” September 15, 2016
- Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Vote yes on Prop 58 “Over the past several years, California has been increasing local control of K-12 education. Proposition 58 is another step in that direction.” September 2, 2016
- Ventura County Star: Vote yes on Proposition 58 “We all have a vested interest in making sure our children learn English, which allows them to progress through the school system and into the workforce. But how we accomplish that can, and should, be left at the local level to school districts.” October 3, 2016
- Orange County Register: Yes on Proposition 58 “Under this year’s Prop. 58, schools would be allowed to use numerous programs, including bilingual education, so that students could learn from teachers who speak both their native language and English.” October 25, 2016
For more information on Proposition 58, visit http://www.supportprop58.com/
To view all CalChamber positions on the General Election ballot measures, visit www.calchamber.com/ballot.