Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, May 20, 1998

Council Takes Position Against Prop. 227 on Bilingual Education

The Los Angeles City Council went on record Tuesday opposing Prop. 227, the June ballot initiative that would ban bilingual education in California schools.
     After an hour of discussion, council members voted to oppose the proposition, sponsored by Silicon Valley millionaire Ron Unz; Councilman Hal Bernson cast the sole dissenting vote.
     Although supporters believe that bilingual classes harm children's potential for success, several council members said the initiative would have the same effect.
     "This says there is virtually only one way that bilingual education can be taught--legally," said Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, a former schoolteacher. "Now that, my friends, is insanity. . . . If you only have one tool in your tool box, there are very few things that you can fix. If you have only one method to teach English . . . you know that a great many children are going to fail."
     A score of Proposition 227 opponents attended the council meeting, including many Latino parents and their children. Several speakers told the council they want to continue having a choice of bilingual education for their children.