Voter Initiatives Affecting Ell Essay

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State Voter Initiatives Affecting the Education of English Language Learners
Jennifer Milam
Grand Canyon University: ESL-523N
January 30, 2013

State Voter Initiatives Affecting the Education of English Language Learners It is no secret that the debate over what is the best course of action to educate our non-native English language students across the country is a highly charged topic that runs from the classroom to Capitol Hill. There have been many shifts in direction and focus of educational programs for English Language Learning (ELL) students during the past century in our nation's history. In 1968, with the passage of the Bilingual Education Act (Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) legislation was
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The result of his efforts created Proposition 227 in California, Proposition 203 in Arizona and 603 CMR 14.00 in Massachusetts which all required that English language learners be educated for one year in a sheltered English immersion program. After that time students must then transfer into mainstream English classrooms. The laws only allowed for instruction of students in their non-English native language under limited and restricted conditions through a parental petition and waiver process (Mora, 2009) The real issue at hand concerning these introduction of these laws are much deeper cultural and sociological issues. According to the California Department of Education, changes in school demographic figures indicate that the language minority student population at that time was growing two and a half times faster than the general student enrollment. As an example, nowhere was this change more notable than in California where 1.4 million students were classified as English language learners, with native Spanish-speakers comprising 82 percent of this population (Weisman and Hanson, 2002). Before the implementation of Proposition 227 eliminated the need to provide bilingual education, California was reported to be short 22,000 bilingual teachers. Bilingual teachers on average were paid $5000 more annually than non-bilingual teachers. This law eliminated the need for these resources. To other voters, the concept that children

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