SB 1174, as amended, Lara. English language education.
(1) Existing law, as added by Proposition 227, a measure approved by the voters at the June 2, 1998, statewide primary election, requires, among other things, that all children in California public schools be taught English by being taught in English. Proposition 227 specifies that English learner pupils, as defined, be educated through sheltered English immersion, as defined, during a temporary transition period not normally intended to exceed one year. Proposition 227 further provides that its requirements relating to sheltered English immersion instruction may be waived with the prior written consent of a pupil’s parent or legal guardian, as specified. Proposition 227 also encourages family members and others to provide personal English language tutoring to English learner pupils.
227 also specifies that a pupil’s parent or legal guardian has standing to sue for enforcement of its provisions and, if successful, to receive normal and customary attorney’s fees and actual damages, but not punitive or consequential damages. Proposition 227 further provides that school board members, other elected officials, and public school teachers or administrators who wilfully and repeatedly refuse to implement its provisions may be held personally liable for fees and actual damages by a pupil’s parent or legal guardian.
This bill would
begin delete repeal Proposition 227.end delete
The California Constitution authorizes the Legislature to amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective when approved by the electors.
This bill would provide that it would become effective only upon approval of the voters, and would require the Secretary of State to submit this measure to the voters for approval at
begin delete aend delete statewide election.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 300) of
2Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code is repealed.
The People of California find and declare as follows:
P3 1(a) Whereas, The English language is the national public
2language of the United States of America and of the State of
3California, is spoken by the vast majority of California residents,
4and is also the leading world language for
begin delete science, technology, language of economic
5and international business, thereby being theend delete
begin delete Immigrantend delete parents are eager to have their
begin delete acquire a good knowledge of English,end delete thereby begin delete allowingend delete
11 them to fully participate in the American Dream of
12economic and social advancement; and
33 Whereas, The government and the public schools of
34California have a moral obligation and a constitutional duty to
35provide all of California’s children, regardless of their ethnicity
begin delete origins,end delete with the skills necessary to become
37productive members of our society, and of these skills, literacy in
38the English language is among the most important; and
39(d) Whereas, The public schools of California currently do a
40poor job of educating immigrant children, wasting financial
P4 1resources on costly experimental language programs whose failure
2over the past two decades is demonstrated by the current high
3drop-out rates and low English literacy levels of many immigrant
5(e) Whereas, Young immigrant children can easily acquire full
6fluency in a new language, such as English, if they are heavily
7exposed to that language in the classroom at an early age.
31 Therefore, It
is resolved that: all children in California public schools shall
begin delete be
34taught English as rapidly and effectively as possible.end delete
Subject to the exceptions provided in Article 3
2(commencing with Section 310), all children in California public
3schools shall be taught English by being taught in English. In
4particular, this shall require that all children be placed in English
5language classrooms. Children who are English learners shall be
6educated through sheltered English immersion during a temporary
7transition period not normally intended to exceed one year. Local
8schools shall be permitted to place in the same classroom English
9learners of different ages but whose degree of English proficiency
15shall be encouraged to mix together in the same classroom English
16learners from different native-language groups but with the same
17degree of English
begin delete fluency. Once English learners have acquired a
18good working knowledge of English, they shall be transferred to
19English language mainstream classrooms. As much as possible,end delete
20 current supplemental funding for
begin delete English
30 shall be maintained, subject to possible modification under Article
318 (commencing with Section 335) below.
The definitions of the terms used in this article and in
begin delete 3end delete (commencing with Section begin delete 310)end delete are as follows:
35(a) “English learner” means a child who does not speak English
36or whose native language is not English and who is not currently
37able to perform ordinary classroom work in English, also known
38as a Limited English Proficiency or LEP child.
39(b) “English language classroom” means a classroom in which
40the language of instruction used by the teaching personnel is
P6 1overwhelmingly the English language, and in which such teaching
2personnel possess a good knowledge of the English language.
3(c) “English language mainstream classroom” means a
4classroom in which the pupils either are native English language
5speakers or already have acquired reasonable fluency in English.
6(d) “Sheltered English immersion” or “structured English
7immersion” means an English language acquisition process for
8young children in which nearly all classroom instruction is in
9English but with the curriculum and presentation designed for
10children who are learning the language.
11(e) “Bilingual education/native language instruction” means a
12language acquisition process for pupils in which much or all
13instruction, textbooks, and teaching materials are in the child’s
The requirements of Section 305 may be waived with the
20prior written informed consent, to be provided annually, of the
21child’s parents or legal guardian under the circumstances specified
22below and in Section 311. Such informed consent shall require
23that said parents or legal guardian personally visit the school to
24apply for the waiver and that they there be provided a full
25description of the educational materials to be used in the different
26educational program choices and all the educational opportunities
27available to the child. Under such parental waiver conditions,
28children may be transferred to classes where they are taught English
29and other subjects through bilingual education techniques or other
30generally recognized educational methodologies permitted by law.
in which 20 pupils or more of a given grade
begin delete receive a waiverend delete shall
35be required to offer such a class; otherwise, they must allow the
36pupils to transfer to a public school in which such a class is offered.
The circumstances in which a parental exception waiver
39may be granted under Section 310 are as follows:
P7 1(a) Children who already know English: the child already
2possesses good English language skills, as measured by
3standardized tests of English vocabulary comprehension, reading,
4and writing, in which the child scores at or above the state average
5for his or her grade level or at or above the 5th grade average,
6whichever is lower; or
7(b) Older children: the child is age 10 years or older, and it is
8the informed belief of the school principal and educational staff
9that an alternate course of educational study would be better suited
10to the child’s rapid acquisition of basic English language skills;
12(c) Children with special needs: the child already has been
13placed for a period of not less than thirty days during that school
14year in an English language classroom and it is subsequently the
15informed belief of the school principal and educational staff that
16the child has such special physical, emotional, psychological, or
17educational needs that an alternate course of educational study
18would be better suited to the child’s overall educational
19development. A written description of these special needs must
20be provided and any such decision is to be made subject to the
21examination and approval of the local school superintendent, under
22guidelines established by and subject to the review of the local
23Board of Education and ultimately the State Board of Education.
24The existence of such special needs shall not compel issuance of
25a waiver, and the parents shall be fully informed of their right to
26refuse to agree to a waiver.
As detailed in Article 2 (commencing with Section 305) and
30Article 3 (commencing with Section 310), all
31California school children have the right to be provided with an English language public education.
begin delete If a California school child has been denied the option of an English
34language instructional curriculum in public school, the child’s
35parent or legal guardian shall have legal standing to sue for
36enforcement of the provisions of this statute, and if successful shall
37be awarded normal and customary attorney’s fees and actual
38damages, but not punitive or consequential damages. Any school
39board member or other elected official or public school teacher or
40administrator who willfully and repeatedly refuses to implement
P8 1the terms of this statute by providing such an English language
2educational option at an available public school to a California
3school child may be held personally liable for fees and actual
4damages by the child’s parents or legal guardian.end delete
The provisions of this act may be amended by a statute
7that becomes effective upon approval by the electorate or by a
begin delete to further the act’s purposeend delete passed by a begin delete two-thirdsend delete
9 vote of each house of the Legislature and signed by the Governor.
of this act
begin delete repealsend delete Proposition 227, an initiative statute that was
13approved by the voters at the June 2, 1998, statewide primary
14election, and shall become effective only when submitted to, and
15approved by, the voters. The Secretary of State shall submit
begin delete Section of this act for approval by the voters
begin delete aend delete statewide election in accordance
18with Section 9040 of the Elections Code.