San Francisco -- The San Francisco Board of Education voted unanimously to exhaust all legal and legislative channels to oppose implementation of Proposition 227. Election results show that the majority of San Franciscans opposed the anti-bilingual education initiative by a margin of three to two.
School Board President Carlota del Portillo announced, "Our decision reflects the will of the people of San Francisco who voted overwhelmingly against Proposition 227. It's an absurd measure which has no educational basis and would set our students back thirty years, commented Dr. Del Portillo, Dean of City College's Mission Campus.
San Francisco Board of Education members threw their support behind a coalition of legal advocates who plan to challenge the measure through the judicial process. These groups include: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the Asian Law Caucus, Public Advocates, Multicultural Education, Training and Advocacy (META) and the Employment Law Center.
Superintendent of Schools Bill Rojas said, "Parents in San Francisco schools are clamoring for more bilingual and language immersion programs. Proposition 227 only offers a 'sink or swim' model, not a bonafide instructional program. This initiative takes away local control and local successes." Dr. Rojas continued, "It is our responsibility as educators to prevent bad policy from wreaking havoc on our instructional programs. Just like when SFUSD stood up to the state mandate of English-only testing and won, this too shall pass. We will seek relief of this ill-founded and illegal measure."
SFUSD and the San Francisco Board of Education support all legal and judicial redress to preserve the richness and continuity of the district's language acquisition programs.