Press Release by
Delaine Eastin
California State Superintendent of Public Instruction

June 3, 1998

Contact: Doug Stone
FAX 916/657-5101 3/12/98

Jan Agee
FAX 916/657-5101



SACRAMENTO-- "Today the voters chose to enact Proposition 227. As a California State constitutional officer, I have always -- and will continue to -- uphold and defend the laws of California," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.

"As State Superintendent, I plan to work with districts to help them comply with the new initiative as effectively as possible," continued Eastin. "It is imperative English learners receive the best education California has to offer. They need effective instruction to help them reach full proficiency in English quickly and to master academic content.

"The just-passed initiative provides for a transition period of at least 60 days, and I will be contacting school districts within the next few weeks with preliminary guidance on this issue. I have directed a California Department of Education team to develop an implementation plan and to review ambiguous provisions of the initiative. Key components to be reviewed include the initiative's relationship to existing federal law; procedures for parents seeking waivers to either move their children into, or keep them in, a bilingual program after a specified period of time; and how much native language instruction is allowable in any English-language immersion class.

"I will work closely with the California State Board of Education to implement the initiative. It is also critical that we include the California Congress of Parents and Teachers Association, the California School Boards Association, the Association of California School Administrators, the California Association of School Business Officials, the California School Employees Association, the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers, and other education groups with a vested interest in examining the implementation process.

"In the meantime, I am advising school districts to continue their commitment to doing the best possible job teaching English and the core curriculum to California's 1.4 million English learners. Districts still need to identify, assess, and serve the needs of all of these students. Furthermore, school districts need to ensure that English learners have access to high standards through all local, state, and federal programs.

"In addition, I urge all districts not to take precipitous actions toward their limited-English-proficiency programs during this transition period as we work to establish more definitive guidelines."