October 5, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA - MALDEF announced today its strong support for Proposition 58, one of many statewide initiatives on the California ballot on November 8.

Proposition 58 would remove a failed statewide mandate on how English learners are to be educated in public school in favor of permitting local school districts to adopt effective education programs based on the resources --including available augmented funding under the state's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) -- and needs in local school districts. At the same time, the proposition would allow additional dual immersion programs in public schools for both English learners and their English-fluent peers to become fully bilingual.

"English-only rules in public schools make no sense in twenty-first century California," said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. "Moreover, a statewide mandate of a single failed program for all our state's many English learners ill serves our future, when we will rely upon today's students, including English learners, to secure our state's thriving future in a globalized economy."

While it is essential that the state and federal governments monitor local school districts to ensure that they are adopting and implementing effective programs to serve English learners and to reduce the achievement gaps that these students face, it is clear that the current state mandate does little but muzzle effective teachers in favor of a dated and counter-productive political agenda.

California needs more bilingual and biliterate graduates of our public schools to move on to higher education and the workforce. Proposition 58 will help fill that need with both English learners and their English-fluent peers.

MALDEF urges a YES vote on California Proposition 58.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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