Ballot Argument Against Prop. 203

Arizona Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

AZ-TESOL, Arizona’s professional organization of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, submits the following argument in opposition to the initiative sponsored by “English for the Children of Arizona.”

As a group of English language teachers, we strongly oppose this initiative and its extremely negative impact on the English language acquisition of students in Arizona. This initiative limits students whose first language is not English to only ONE school year of intensive English language learning before immersing them in content classes with little or no support. Research clearly demonstrates that language
learners need much more time to acquire another language, particularly for the acquisition of reading and writing skills necessary for academic achievement in another language.

As a group of English language teachers, we oppose this initiative and the resulting lack of equal access which English language-learning students would have to programs which provide the English they need to be successful in Arizona’s classrooms. The initiative will eliminate ALL longer-term ESL and bilingual education services to a large percentage of our student population.

AZ-TESOL also opposes this initiative because it curtails the rights of parents to make choices for their children’s education, and removes the rights of individual school districts to make educational program decisions which are appropriate for their specific student populations. If this initiative should be passed, the results will affect all Arizona residents in both the educational and employment arenas for many

AZ-TESOL, as a group of Arizona English teachers, strongly urges you to vote against this initiative, and to support  the rights of our parents, local educators, and school districts to choose what is best for the education of our student populations.