Earth Notes
11:09 pm
Wed April 26, 2006

Judge Rejects ELL Plan

Phoenix, AZ – Judge Raner Collins said there was no evidence the $432
per student in the plan was sufficient for the state to
met its obligation to teach English. And he barred the
state from requiring schools to first tap some federal
aid before seeking more. Senate President Ken Bennett
objected, saying two thirds or more of the 160,000
Arizona students who need extra help are the children
of illegal immigrants, even if they were born here.

(If we're going to educate them in our school system
which we're obligated to do by federal law and want to
help provide a good future for them, to then turn
around as this judge says, and say that the federal
funds cannot be used to meet those obligations that are
under federal law is just simply illogical and wrong.)

Gov. Janet Napolitano, who opposed the Republican
proposal, urged lawmakers to now negotiate a new plan
to ensure that these students learn English and are
successful.

(If we don't do it right we in a sense are creating a
permanent underclass in our state. And that's not good
for us in the long term.)

But that's not going to happen: Republican legislative
leaders vowed to appeal, saying they won't alter their
plan unless and until a higher court tells them to. In
Phoenix, for Arizona Public Radio this is Howard
Fischer.