Resolution - Arizona LULAC Resolution Concerning State-Mandated Changes to English Language Learner Programs

WHEREAS, The League of United Latin American Citizens is the nation’s oldest and largest Latino organization, founded Corpus Christi, Texas on February 24, 1929; and

WHEREAS, LULAC, throughout its history has committed itself to the principles the Latinos have equal access to the opportunities in employment, education, housing and healthcare; and

WHEREAS, LULAC has supported the principles for economic opportunities for economic development, political influence, civil rights and the general welfare of all Latinos in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Arizona HB 2064 (The legislation) mandates a new English Language Learner (ELL) Program in all publically funded schools; and

WHEREAS, Arizona school districts’ already have developed ELL programs, currently underfunded; and

WHEREAS, the mandated program segregates ELL students from non-ELL students for four hours daily while ELL students receive English Instruction; and

WHEREAS, the re-integration of ELL and non-ELL students for two hours each day creates enormous classroom integrity challenges for elementary school teachers; and

WHEREAS, no evidence exist that four hours is the optimum instruction time for ELL students; and

WHEREAS, The Legislation limits funding for ELL students to two years; and

WHEREAS, most research studies on English language acquisition report that between three and seven years are necessary for the development of academic language competency; and

WHEREAS, the Legislation requires that districts offset the cost of the state-mandated program by reallocating federal funds from Title I, II, and III; and

WHEREAS, federal law generally prohibits the use of federal funds to supplant state-mandated programs; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit did not approve the mandated plan as written; and

WHEREAS, many districts will not receive additional needed funds to implement the mandated program; and
WHEREAS, the Legislation imposes undo hardship on Arizona school districts and denies Arizona’s ELL students equal participation in education;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Arizona League of United Latin American Citizens appeal to the Arizona State Legislature to postpone implementation of the mandated program until court approved funding is available to the districts; and be it further;

RESOLVED, that the State accept alternate ELL instruction plans submitted by school districts; and be it further;

RESOLVED, that to ensure equal participation in education, the state remove any limit to the number of years an ELL student who needs special instruction is funded to receive that instruction; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the State accept the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and/or Judge Raner Collins and fully fund ELL instruction without requiring the use of federal funds to offset the costs of the program.

The resolution is submitted to the assembly at 57th Annual Arizona LULAC State Convention on May 4, 2008

Approved this 11th day of July 2008.
Rosa Rosales
LULAC National President