KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Advocates bring nearly 3,000 signatures to Capitol in support of dual language model

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said it’s illegal for English Language Learners to use a 50-50 dual language model, and he’s threatening funding for schools that keep using it.

The dual language immersion model works by creating a classroom that includes native English speakers and speakers of another target language, like Spanish, to partially model those languages for and learn from each other.

“Many other states in our country have been doing dual language immersion for decades and tracking that data,” said Maria Cristina Ladas, a consultant for language programs.

Ladas said data in those states supports the model. She and parents like Karina Velarde helped Stand for Children Arizona deliver nearly 3,000 signatures to Horne’s office Thursday morning.

Velarde said the dual language model has been effective for her son, who starts second grade soon.

“As a mother, it’s important to me for my children to have that dual language, have that option in school,” Velarde said.

But Horne said the model violates Proposition 203, which requires English Language Learners to be taught only in English, unless they have certain waivers.

“To the extent I have jurisdiction, I have to enforce the law as it is,” Horne said Thursday. “And as it happens, that’s the academically correct thing for the success of the students.”

Ladas said Horne cites outdated data to defend students being taught only in English.

More stories from KJZZ

Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.