Quite a few times when I’ve interviewed Timothy M. Hogan, the lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Flores v. Arizona federal court case concerning the rights of English-language learners, and he’s been frustrated that the Arizona legislature hasn’t satisfied a federal court order concerning the lawsuit, he’s made the statement: “We’ll just have to go back to court.” Flores v. Arizona is the case in which a judge has ruled that Arizona doesn’t adequately pay for the education of its English-language learners.
Arizona lawmakers missed a deadline to fix the problem set for the end of their last legislative session, which finished up in the spring. Mr. Hogan, the executive director of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, was true to his word and went back to court. And last week, U.S. District Judge Raner Collins set a new deadline for the Arizona legislature to find a way to adequately pay for the education of its 133,000 ELLs by March 4, according to an Oct. 12 article in The Arizona Republic.
Oct. 15 Update: The Arizona Daily Star reports today that the state will appeal Judge Collins’ order from last week. State officials plan to argue in the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals that the U.S. District Court is illegally ordering Arizona lawmakers to spend more money on English-language learners, according to the article.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.