P – The legislation is similar to what Republicans have
proposed -- and Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed -- twice
since the beginning of the year. It includes
requirements for schools to use structured English
immersion methods that have been approved by a special
task force. And it spells out that schools can get
extra funding for students classified as English
language learners for only two years. But the GOP
leaders dropped demands that any package also allow
companies to divert some taxes they owe the state to
organizations which provide scholarships so that
parents of these English learners could afford to send
their children to private or parochial schools.
That change came over the objection of several
Republicans like Ron Gould of Lake Havasu City.
(If we want these kids to learn English, and I want
these kids to learn English, we can't continue to throw
money at a failed system. We need a new system that
gives these kids the opportunity to succeed and lifts
them out of poverty.)
The measure goes to the House next week and eventually
to the governor who will have to decide if this plan is
more acceptable to her than the others. In Phoenix, for
Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.