October 20, 2002
Amendment 31 is BAD JUJU! This proposal is not about helping kids learn English in a tolerant English-only environment.
It is about inviting legal retribution for educators who purposely or inadvertently violate the terms of the statute. It is about taking away local control from our schools and our community. It is about segregation and a sink-or-swim approach to those who need help most.
Proponents say that kids who can’t cut the mustard can be exempted from the requirements, but the reality is that “schools may refuse to approve any such waivers at their sole discretion without any need to indicate cause.”
The language states that if waivers are granted for certain students, that parents of those students “retain for 10 years thereafter the full legal right to sue the individuals who granted the waivers … if they conclude that the waivers injured the education of their child.”
With this kind of punitive language, do you really think our schools would grant waivers to anyone? The likely answer is no. Kids who fail to gain adequate English skills in the one year allowed would be lost from the education system.
Tossing non-English speaking kids into this kind of environment will do far more harm than good for them and our communities. Let’s tell the proponents of Amendment 31 that WE will decide how we will educate our kids and that we will not agree to a one-size-fits-all mandate.
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Vote no on Amendment 31.
Basalt Town Council