In 1998, voters passed Prop 227 which restricted bilingual learning from California public schools, and the fairly common practice of teaching native Spanish speakers in Spanish-only classrooms. Today, with the exception of schools which are specifically language immersion, like CCUSD’s El Marino & La Ballona elementary schools, all students learn in English-only classrooms.
22% of California students are classified as English-learners. There is evidence that suggests that Prop 227 benefited these students: From 2003 to 2009, the percentage of English-learners scoring “proficient” or “advanced” in reading and writing doubled. However, more recently there has been data that suggests more nuanced teaching would benefit English-learners better than the English-only standard.
Prop 58 essentially overturns Prop 227, allowing local school districts more flexibility to teach their students as they see fit. It also places more influence in the hands of parents, requiring any school to adhere to the programming requests of 20 or more families in a single grade or 30 or more from an entire school.
YES on Prop 58 overturns Prop 227 and places more control in the hands of local districts and parents as to how to instruct English-learner students.
NO on Prop 58 upholds Prop 227 and restricts teaching to English-only classrooms, regardless of the students’ mastery of the language.
For significantly more details, please look to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office: