Prop. 203: Bilingual-education ban passes easily : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

I can really relate to the quote: "We hated people telling us we were racists when we knew that wasn't true," Ayala said from a celebration party last night at a Phoenix hotel. "It's an intelligent public; they knew bilingual education does not work."

Whenever someone is making money off of something that is hurting our children or our country they call anyone who objects to this fraud a racist. The politicians and the media are the number one practioners of this, and they are hurting everyone in this country, no matter what their background.

For educational purposes only

Prop. 203: Bilingual-education ban passes easily What this means: * All public school instruction to be conducted in English.

* Students with limited English proficiency will go through an intensive one-year English immersion program, instead of traditional bilingual classroom instruction.

By Hipolito R. Corella ARIZONA DAILY STAR

The statement Arizona voters delivered last night about the future of bilingual education needed no translation: No mC!s.

Proposition 203 was passing by a 2-to-1 margin across the state.

"It's almost like an emancipation for our Hispanic children; they've been in academic shackles for 32 years," said Hector Ayala, co-chair of English for the Children.

Proposition 203 is a state ballot measure modeled after a California initiative voters there approved in 1998. It dismantles traditional bilingual-education programs and places students who speak little or no English in a one-year immersion program.

Ayala, a Tucson high school teacher, said he had little doubt the public would look past the personal attacks lobbed at supporters of the proposition to make a decision he said is good for students.

"We hated people telling us we were racists when we knew that wasn't true," Ayala said from a celebration party last night at a Phoenix hotel. "It's an intelligent public; they knew bilingual education does not work."

Proponents of the proposition declared victory before 10 last night, although early results showed they could have done so sooner.

"This has nothing to do with our heritage or our culture. It has to do with academics, and we want our children to excel - participate in the American dream," said Lupe Martinez of English for the Children. "This is an outstanding victory."

Ron Unz, the Silicon Valley millionaire who led California's successful proposition to ban bilingual education, bankrolled Arizona's effort to do away with it.

Unz, who was at last night's Phoenix victory party, called the wide margin of victory heartening since opponents outspent supporters of the proposition late in the campaign.

"I think what the people looked at is that it makes sense to teach children English when they first get into school," Unz said. Similar efforts are now in motion in New York, Massachusetts and Colorado.

He said parents of immigrant students in the state will see academic improvements within two years, which has occurred in California among many students with limited English skills.

Those improvements, however, will occur here only in Arizona school districts that abide by the will of the voters, Unz said.

Stan Paz, Tucson Unified School District superintendent, said he will meet immediately with district lawyers to determine how best to implement the English-only mandate.

"Professionally, we are going to abide by the law."

Still, Paz, a former bilingual-education teacher who now leads a school district with the largest bilingual-education program in the state, said he was personally disappointed with the vote, calling it a "tremendous loss."

Similarly, Sunnyside Superintendent Raul Bejarano said he was unhappy but not surprised.

Bejarano said he has invited leaders from about a dozen school districts here and in Maricopa County to meet Friday at Sunnyside headquarters to discuss the best way to implement the new law.

"This will impact our district tremendously. A large number of our elementary kids are in bilingual programs," he said.

Proposition 203 requires all public school instruction to be conducted in English. That could leave some 45,000 bilingual-education students in the state in English-only classrooms by early next year.

The exact date for implementation of English-only instruction, however, was not clear last night.

Here are other provisions included in Proposition 203:

* Students with limited English ability are to be transferred to mainstream classrooms once they acquire "a good working knowledge of English" and can do regular schoolwork in English.

* Standardized tests will be given annually to all students, except for those exempt for special-education reasons.

* Foreign-language classes are unaffected.

* Lawsuits are permitted to ensure enforcement.

Waivers are available - but not guaranteed - for students who already speak English or are at least 10 years old or have spent at least 30 days in an English-language classroom. And if the student is determined to have special physical or psychological needs above and beyond a lack of English proficiency.

Those waivers can be rejected without explanation.

Students with limited English proficiency will go through an intensive one-year English immersion program, instead of bilingual classroom instruction that critics say they can stay in for years.

Opponents of Proposition 203 relied on rallies and marches to drum up support for bilingual education.

They also linked the proposition to parental choice, arguing that Proposition 203 would eliminate an important decision about a child's education.

Prop 200: Passing, but with slimmer lead; Prop 204: It's most popular, with 2-1 margin What this means: * Proposition 204 would add 130,000 Arizonans to the state indigent health plan, reducing the percentage of Arizonans who have no health insurance - now the highest in the country.

* Under Proposition 204, a family of four with an annual income of $16,700 would qualify for state health care. The income limit now for the family is $5,560 a year.


Voters were saying yes last night to propositions 200 and 204 - two competing proposals to open Arizona's indigent health care system to the state's working poor.

But they liked Proposition 204, Healthy Arizona 2, more than Proposition 200, Healthy Children Healthy Families. If Proposition 204 maintains its lead, it alone would be implemented.

As of 11 p.m., Proposition 204 was winning 2-1 while 200 held a slimmer 3-2 lead.

Both initiatives are a response to the state's anticipated $3.2 billion windfall from the 1998 multi-state tobacco lawsuit settlement, which will pump more than $100 million a year into the state over 25 years.

Healthy Arizona 2 would bring 130,000 adults into the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System - AHCCCS. It was a grass- roots initiative, outspent more than 3-to-1 by the powerful Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association and other supporters of Healthy Children Healthy Families.

"We're really ecstatic that the voters saw the difference," said Dr. Eve Shapiro, a Tucson pediatrician and chair of Healthy Arizona 2. "We got our message out. Voters saw that ours was the more comprehensive plan that would have a more positive effect on the public health of Arizona."

Janice Palmer, spokeswoman for Proposition 200, said she would withhold comment until more of the vote was in. The measure would add 40,000 adults to AHCCCS.

This was the second time in four years that Arizonans were asked to admit more of the state's poor to AHCCCS.

In 1996, Arizona voters approved the original Healthy Arizona initiative with 72 percent of the vote.

But lawmakers in Phoenix, saying they were afraid of creating an expanded welfare program, refused to implement Healthy Arizona without putting a limit on the number of Arizonans who could be added to AHCCCS.

The federal Health Care Financing Administration, which oversees AHCCCS and other Medicaid programs, said no - health care cannot be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

The state's refusal to move forward with Healthy Arizona prompted the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest to file suit against Arizona this summer.

The hospital association was the leading backer of the original Healthy Arizona initiative. But the association parted with Healthy Arizona 2 earlier this year, citing the state's inability to implement the original proposition.

Instead, the hospital association offered a whole new menu of programs - from child- abuse prevention to early breast cancer detection - that could be implemented without the permission of the federal government.

Not wanting to turn its back completely on the original Healthy Arizona, the hospital association designed Proposition 200 to open AHCCCS to 40,000 parents of children already enrolled in the program.

That more modest expansion of AHCCCS was already authorized under federal Medicaid law.

Backers of Proposition 200 used the threat of a raid on the state's general fund to try to scare voters away from Proposition 204. The hospital association pointed to a state analysis that said Healthy Arizona 2 would need about $135 million annually in state funds if Arizona failed to obtain a federal waiver to increase the AHCCCS income eligibility limit to 100 percent of federal poverty level.

But early last month, the federal Health Care Financing Administration said Arizona's most recent waiver request is expected to be approved.

"People saw through their negative campaigning," Shapiro said of the Proposition 200 camp. "Most of their money was spent on negative ads against 204. The Arizona voters didn't buy those scare tactics, and I have to thank the media for that. The media in Arizona did an excellent job of making sure voters didn't fall for 200's false advertising."

Political analysts predicted that both 200 and 204 would win, but 204 apparently benefited from being a near-clone of one of the most popular initiatives ever put before Arizona voters.

Proposition 200 went along with two stipulations set forth earlier by Gov. Jane Hull. First, spend $75 million of the tobacco settlement money on construction of a new state hospital for the mentally ill, and second, set aside $30 million for a new testing laboratory for the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Other funding priorities included $8 million a year for medications for the mentally ill, $3 million for treatment of mentally ill youth, $5 million for cancer screenings and programs to prevent heart disease, stroke and other diseases that mostly affect people over 50.

Proposition 200 also would allocate $35 million a year for a Smart Beginnings program to boost children's programs, with funding decisions made by a seven-member commission appointed by the governor.

Opponents criticized 200 for creating a new health care bureaucracy.

Prop. 301: Sales tax hike for education wins voters' approval By Sarah Garrecht Gassen ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Consumers will pay a few extra cents at the cash register to support teacher raises and add five days to the school year, after voters approved the so-called education sales tax yesterday.

The projected $445 million in annual revenue will be generated by raising the state sales tax from 5 cents to 5.6 cents per dollar for 20 years.

Pushed through the Legislature to the ballot box by Gov. Jane Hull, Proposition 301 was supported by teacher groups, universities and community colleges.

"There will be increased learning from this proposition," Hull said.

"We will show what a few extra dollars can do, what accountability will do, and what choice will do."

The majority of the revenue, 85 percent, will be earmarked for K-12 education. Arizona's three public universities will split 12 percent, and the state's 11 community college districts will share 3 percent.

Teachers will receive an estimated one-time $3,000 raise, and schools will be able to spend money on education programs, such as smaller classes or extra tutoring programs, or additional teacher raises.

The money is not supposed to be used for administration costs, and an audit every five years is required to keep tabs on how the money is being spent.

Prop 106: Redistricting to be done by appointees By Sarah Garrecht Gassen ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Legislators will no longer be able to draw their own legislative district boundaries after voters approved Proposition 106 yesterday.

Instead, a five-member commission will decide the boundaries of congressional and legislative districts, a process done once each decade.

The commission will be selected by legislative leaders from a pool of 25 people who have not been lobbyists or politicians in the last three years, making sure no more than two appointees are from the same party or county. The four commissioners will then appoint the fifth member from a group not already represented on the commission.

Boundaries must be redrawn before the next election, in 2002.

The commission will use census data to draw the districts. The goal is to avoid the often squiggly districts now in place and create more logical boundaries.

"This means we have a fair process in place, not one that's handled through the Legislature," said 106 campaign manager Kathy Petsas.

The proposition was sponsored by a Democratic shopping center developer from Scottsdale and endorsed by the League of Women Voters, Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano and Arizona Common Cause.

-- K (, November 08, 2000

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