Ballot Argument Against Prop. 203

Navajo Nation, Office of the President/Vice President

The Navajo Nation Office of the President /Vice-President opposes Proposition 203 because it:

Forbids Navajo in the classroom. Proposition 203 forbids Navajo students from participating in meaningful Navajo language programs. The people of the Navajo Nation understand the importance of their children learning English, but realize the importance of protecting Navajo culture though the use and education of the Navajo language.

Provides less education. Proposition 203 limits English programs to one year providing less English received in existing ESL and bilingual programs.

Will be unsuccessful. For hundreds of years the Navajo people have been forced into similar unsuccessful English language immersion programs with lengthier time limits than one year. A one year program with the same principles will also prove to be unsuccessf ul.

Will cause low test scores. Proposition 203 claims that students will learn English in one year, however, almost 93% of the students in the California program failed to test proficient after only one year.

Denies parental rights. Parents will have no choice in the children’ s education because “[ t]eachers and local school districts may reject wai ver requests without explanation or legal consequences. ” Proposition 203 §15-753.B. 3

Violates Arizona law. Section Two of Proposition 203 would repeal sections of the Arizona Revised Statutes that now protect language-related civil rights.

Threatens educators. The initiative allows educators to be sued, and if the educator loses the suit, forces them to pay court costs and damages as well as be banned from employment in Ari zona as an educator for five years.

An initiative which abolishes the civil rights of Arizona children, denies parents the right to a choice in their children’s education, threatens educators, and encourages the genocide of Native American cultures is strongly opposed by the Navajo Nation Office of the President /Vi ce-President.

Kelsey A. Begaye, President, The Navajo Nation, Window Rock 

Sharon M. Noel, Chief of Staff, Office of the President /Vice-Presi-dent,
The Navajo Nation, Window Rock