English-Language Learners

Calif. School Board Member Recalled Over Prop. 227

By Mary Ann Zehr — February 12, 2003 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Nativo Lopez, a member of the Santa Ana, Calif., school board, was unseated last week in a special recall election supported by the anti-bilingual-education activist Ron K. Unz.

Mr. Unz, who contended that Mr. Lopez had impeded the implementation of California’s Proposition 227, contributed $100,000 for gathering the signatures required to support the election.

Mr. Lopez, who was in the middle of his second four-year term, lost the Feb. 4 recall election in the largely Hispanic voting district by a majority of 71 percent to 29 percent of the 12,600 votes cast.

Proposition 227, a ballot initiative written by Mr. Unz and approved by voters in 1998, curtails bilingual education in the state. Under the law, schools may provide bilingual education only to children whose parents have signed waivers to keep them out of the English-immersion instruction called for in the measure.

Bilingual education is an instructional method in which students are taught some subjects in their native languages while they are learning English.

Informing Parents

Voters chose Rob Richardson, a former school board member and Santa Ana city councilman as Mr. Lopez’s replacement, according to unofficial results that were expected to be certified this week.

Mr. Unz said Mr. Lopez’s loss of his post was another sign that bilingual education is not popular, even among Latinos.

Sal Tinajero, the president of the five-member Santa Ana school board, countered that bilingual education was only one of several issues at the center of Mr. Lopez’s ouster.

Mr. Lopez didn’t impede the implementation of Proposition 227 in the 62,000-student school system, but he persisted in informing parents about their children’s right to bilingual education through the waiver process, Mr. Tinajero added.

“If anything, Ron Unz dropped the ball because he didn’t write [the law] as airtight as he should have,” Mr. Tinajero said. “Parents have the right to choose.”

Mr. Lopez did not return phone calls last week seeking comment on his defeat.


School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

English-Language Learners Want to Support English-Learners? Prioritize SEL, New Study Finds
Students leaving English-learner programs report greater confidence in their academic abilities. How can SEL reinforce that finding?
4 min read
Young girl smiling and writing in classroom.
English-Language Learners Spotlight Spotlight on Language Instruction
This Spotlight will help you understand the challenges facing ELLs, gain insights into the future of education for ELL students, and more.
English-Language Learners Virtual Learning Made Persistent Problems Worse for English-Learners
But some solutions also existed pre-pandemic—and it's up to districts to put them into action, a pair of reports conclude.
4 min read
Photograph of young boy reading.
English-Language Learners Opinion Crystal Ball Predictions: What Will Education for ELL Students Look Like in 10 Years?
In the next decade, schools just might appreciate English-learners for whom they are and the language skills they possess.
12 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."