|News & Editorials
Prop. 203 vs. Prop. 227
227 in California
Education Council (ALEC)
Plus More (No on 203)
for Bilingual Education (AABE)
La Vida Latina.com
for the Children - Arizona"
Anti-Bilingual Initiative in Arizona
Arizona Attorney General Interprets Initiative
Voters Approve English Only Measure, 63% to
Election Results by County
Final Campaign Finance Reports
Secretary of State Voter Information Pamphlet on Prop. 203
Arizona has become the latest battleground in a California millionaire's
crusade to "eliminate bilingual education in the United States."
Proposition 203, an
initiative statute, prohibits native-language
instruction for most limited-English-proficient children in public schools.
Using the electoral process to micromanage the schools, the new law imposes
a statewide English-only mandate, overruling the
The campaign was funded almost entirely by
Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and would-be
politician, who sponsored (and bankrolled) a similar measure in California.
According to disclosure statements filed with the Arizona Secretary of State, Unz provided
$186,886 of the $229,786 (81%) of the money spent to get Prop. 203 on the
ballot and sell it to the voters.
- choices of Hispanic and Native American
- judgment and experience of professional
- decisions of local school boards, and
- sovereignty of Indian nations trying
to save their languages from extinction.
The initiative is modeled on Proposition 227,
passed by California voters in 1998. But the Arizona
version is far more restrictive – especially in
its limits on "waivers" of the English-only rule. These provisions, designed
to provide the illusion of parental choice, could mean the elimination
of parental choice for all practical purposes. Nevertheless, many questions
about implementation remain to be decided by state and local officials.
|Arizona's attorney general,
Janet Napolitano, has issued two official – but nonbinding – opinions on
I01-003 – School
districts' deadline for implementing Prop. 203 is the start of the 2001-2002
I01-006 – Prop.
203 cannot prohibit Arizona public schools from teaching Native American languages
measure in Colorado, sponsored by Unz's ally
Linda Chavez, was
removed from the ballot by the Colorado
Supreme Court on July 10, 2000. Among other things, the initiative was
ruled to be deceptive and misleading on the issue of parental choice.
English Only vs. English
Only – Arizona's Prop. 203 is far more restrictive than California's
Prop. 227 in head-to-head comparison
Stephen Krashen, Grace K. Park, and Dan
Bilingual Education in
Arizona: What the Research Says – A review of the most rigorous scientific
studies shows that bilingual programs have proven effective in Arizona.
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational
Arizona Unz Initiative:
Questions and Answers
of Arizona Unz Initiative
Ballot arguments against Prop. 203
Arizona Language Education Council
English Plus More
Arizona English Teachers Association
Arizona Teachers of English to Speakers of
Sen. Joe Eddie Lopez
Mexican American Political Association
Navajo Nation, Office of the President/Vice President
Statements of Opposition
Navajo Nation Council – Resolution "strongly opposing" English-only initiative,
adopted unanimously, 20 July 1999.
Clips & Editorials
(no endorsement implied)
- Bilingual Education: Strike Two, by James
Rethinking Schools, Winter 2000/2001
- Increase in Test Scores Counters Dire Forecasts for Bilingual
Ban – A biased and misleading "study" of the impact
of Prop. 227 in California, which mainly parrots partisan claims by Ron Unz
and his minions.
New York Times, 20 August 2000
Letter to the editor, by Stephen Krashen
Press advisory, by the Arizona
Language Education Council
Response by O. Ricardo Pimentel
- Measure's Language Nullified –
Arizona Supreme Court orders inaccurate ballot summary stricken.
Arizona Daily Star, 19 August 2000
to End Bilingual Ed Officially on Ballot– Secretary
of State says sponsors have sufficient signatures to qualify Prop 203 for
November 7 election.
Associated Press, 4 August 2000
- Group Organizes To Fight English-Only Initiative– Measure "was bought and paid for by an out-of-state millionaire
and is in no way a grass-roots volunteer effort," says Sen. Lopez.
Arizona Republic, 6 July 2000
- Navajo Opposition to English Only – Window Rock meeting mobilizes tribal members to save native-language
Navajo Hopi Observer, 3 July
- Bilingual Schooling Targeted – California millionaire discloses $100,000 backing for English-only
Arizona Republic, 28 June 2000
- English-Only Measure Will Be on Ballot – Proponents claim to have sufficient signatures; opponents
raise issue of parental choice.
Tucson Citizen, 28 June 2000
- Council Slams Door on "English Only"
Navajo Times, 22 July 1999
- Showdown Over Language
Arizona Republic, 7 January 1999
- Test Scores Don't Make Case
for Banning Bilingual Ed, by O. Ricardo Pimentel – New York Times "study," which ignores expert analysis of
California test scores, proves nothing about bilingual education.
Arizona Republic, 24 August
- Prop. 227 a Success in Calif.?
Don't Believe It, Arizona, by Francisco Ramos –
Ron Unz's claims about student achievement are politically motivated and
Tucson Citizen, 25 July 2000
- Value of Dumping Bilingual Ed Not Proved,
by O. Ricardo Pimentel – "Beware of inflated
claims" about the "success" of Prop. 227 in California.
Arizona Republic, 4 July 2000
- A Harmful Solution – "The initiative may not have grown out of racist
impulses," but its passage would be "a racist outcome."
Arizona Daily Star, 29 June 2000
- Ariz. Should
Decide School Issue – Why should out-of-state money
be dismantling Arizona's education policies – especially when those policies
Arizona Republic, 12 June 2000
- Our Opinion: Initiative on Bilingual Ed Is
Divisive, Unfair – Deceptive measure, a threat to
parents' rights, "is being foisted upon us by an out-of-state agitator."
Tucson Citizen, 9 June 2000
Last updated on 8 April 2001
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