Along with most of you, we were disappointed at the temporary injunction granted last week by State Superior Court Judge Ronald Robie against the plans of the Orange Unified School District to shift their English learner program from “bilingual education” toward English immersion. We expect the judge to soon lift his injunction, or for the injunction to be overturned upon appeal, allowing the District of Orange to move forward with their new policy.
However, one very important aspect of the judge’s ruling was overlooked in most of the media coverage. The judge explicitly stated that “bilingual education” is not required under federal law, and his injunction was being granted over the procedural issue of whether the district had properly met its requirements to the State Board of Education in applying for the waiver. Considering that this statement came from a judge as “pro-bilingual” as Robie, it is clearly undeniable.
The judge’s view accords exactly with the information which we have provided on the “Courts” section of our web page ( http://www.OneNation.org ). Since there is no federal requirement for “bilingual education,” and since our initiative would overturn all opposing state law, there is no legal basis whatsover on which it could be tied up in court. If our “English for the Children” initiative reaches the ballot, and is approved, it will take immediate effect.
There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done—gathering hundreds of thousands of remaining signatures, over-coming the public and hidden opposition of many prominent politicians, Republicans and Democrats, and winning on the June 1998 ballot—-but if you can now take heart that if we succeed, there is no serious possibility of our initiative being frustrated by a Federal judge.
If all of us do our best, “bilingual education” in California will end within 10 months.