English Only Education State Laws Research Proposal
Excerpt from Research Proposal :
Whereas California law requires instruction to take place in English except for the immersion classrooms, Colorado only provides a funding limitation for non- and limited-English speakers that expires after two years (Colorado Statute 22-24-104). That is, a student may receive instruction in languages other than English for longer than two years, but no institution, district, or facility will receive state funding for that student after the two-year period until they are moved to English-only classrooms. Thus, not only does Colorado provide for twice the amount of time for a student to learn English at the expense of the public education system, but they are also not prohibited from continuing at their own cost (as they are in California).
New York actually has some of the most liberal laws regarding education in languages other than English. The state's education code also mandates that instruction generally takes place in English, but allows for students with limited English skills to receive instruction in other languages for three years, and this time period can be extended to six years by the education commissioner on a case-by-case basis (New York Education Code Section 3204.2). New York is also the only state of the three studied
herein that expresses an explicit purpose for such instruction, namely "to enable [students with limited English proficiency] to develop academically while achieving competence in the English language" (New York Education Code Section 3204.2). New York, then, provides the most ample support to children for whom English is not a native language, and more explicitly attempts to ensure that children receiving education in non-English classrooms are also receiving adequate training in the use of English, which better prepares them for a continuing education and a professional career in this country.
The United States' population is almost certain to continue to grow in diversity, both ethnically and linguistically. English is still the most widely spoken language in the country, but a very large percentage of residents and citizens in this country speak other languages instead of or in addition to English. As this situation increases, instructional and administrative methods and practices will have to be adjusted to ensure equal learning opportunities as required by law.
California Education Code Section 305. Accessed 5 August 2009. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=edc&group=00001-01000&file=305-306
Colorado Statute 22-24-104. Accessed 5 August 2009. http://www.michie.com/colorado/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=main-h.htm&cp=
New York Education Code Section 3024.2. Accessed 5 August 2009. http://law.onecle.com/new-york/education/EDN03204_3204.html
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