Proposition 227 Highlights

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  • Language-minority students would be educated through "sheltered English immersion,'' usually for no more than a year. Nearly all classroom instruction would be in English, but with curricula designed for students who are learning the language.

Schools could mix in the same classroom children of different ages and native languages, but with similar English-proficiency levels. Once students had acquired a good working knowledge of English, they would transfer to mainstream classrooms.

  • Parents who wanted their children in a bilingual education program or any program other than the one-year sheltered immersion would have to visit the school and be presented with all the program options first. A school with 20 students or more in a given grade who received waivers from the sheltered-immersion requirement would be required to offer alternatives such as bilingual education. Otherwise, the school would have to allow the students to transfer to a school where such a program was offered.
  • Parents could be granted waivers for:

1. Children who already know English and can demonstrate on standardized tests that their English skills are at or above the statewide average for their grade level or at or above the 5th grade average, whichever is lower.

2. Children age 10 or older who school officials believe would learn English more rapidly in an alternative program.

3. Children with documented special needs whose overall development school officials believe would be better served in an alternative program.

  • School board members, other elected officials, teachers, and administrators who "willfully and repeatedly refuse'' to provide English programs could be held personally liable for fees and damages.

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