Arizona Legislature Sends Official English Bill to Governor
Harold F. Schiffman
haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Thu May 12 15:12:36 UTC 2005
Arizona Legislature Sends Official English Bill to Governor's Desk;
Statement by U.S. English, Inc. Chairman Mauro E. Mujica
5/5/2005 3:42:00 PM
Contact: Rob Toonkel of U.S. English, 202-833-0100;
WASHINGTON, May 5 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A day after the Arizona Senate passed
legislation that would make English the official language of Arizona, U.S.
English, Inc. Chairman Mauro E. Mujica urged Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano
to sign the measure into law. If the measure is enacted, Arizona would
become the 28th state with English as its official language. The bill is
S.B. 1167. "As legislation that unites a diverse state, official English
deserves Gov. Napolitano's wholehearted support. Measures widely supported
by both American-born and foreign-born residents should be embraced, not
sidelined by the influence of a few narrow- minded interest groups.
"English remains the key tool for full participation in American life.
Sadly, more than 500,000 Arizonans struggle because they are not
proficient in English, unable to obtain better jobs, help their children
with homework, or speak with their neighbors. This legislation would
create a long-awaited language policy to bring together all Grand Canyon
State residents on the road to English fluency. "If Gov. Napolitano has
any questions about the effect of this legislation, she should look at the
shining legacy of the common language policy Arizonans enacted for their
schools. Five years after Arizona residents ousted bilingual education
programs in favor of those that increased the amount of English spoken in
the classroom, the results of this decision have been outstanding. Last
summer, the state announced that students enrolled in English immersion
classes outperformed students enrolled in bilingual programs at all grade
levels, with the gap widening among older students.
"Adopting a common language policy for the schools achieved tremendous
benefits, without any of the gloomy results forecast by opponents.
Students are learning English while exploring other foreign languages and
maintaining cultural celebrations. Through the focus on English
instruction, these students have been given the tools that will make them
the newest generation of successful immigrants. "Adapting this effective
common language policy to the entire state is the next logical step.
Arizona should never become an English-only state, but it also should
never become an English- optional state. Signing official English
legislation into law would uphold that important American value."
U.S. English, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest non- partisan
citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the
English language in the United States. Founded in 1983 by the late Sen.
S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S. English, Inc. now has more than 1.8
million members nationwide. U.S. English, Inc. can be found on the web at:
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