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Creighton School District board member: Horne's dual language lawsuit restricts parent choice

The controversy over dual language programs in Arizona schools is heating up.

Earlier this month, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne filed a lawsuit over the programs, asking for a judge to rule that all schools must teach so-called “structured English immersion” to any students who aren’t proficient in the language. It’s a shot against dual language programs, which have been successful for many districts across the state. 

The lawsuit was filed against Gov. Katie Hobbs, Attorney General Kris Mayes and the Creighton School District, which has been operating a popular dual language program for years. 

At the root here is Proposition 203, which Arizona voters passed in 2000, and was dubbed the “English-only law.” While it sounds smart to immerse students in the language in order for them to learn it, the results have been poor.  The Arizona Agenda reports that just 9 percent of English learners are proficient in the latest test results.

Recently on The Show, we heard from Horne about why he still thinks English immersion is the best approach, and now we'll hear from some of the people arguing for dual language instead.

Amy McSheffrey is a Creighton Governing Board Member, and Gillian McSheffrey is her daughter.

Gillian was in the first class/cohort of the Spanish Immersion program at Biltmore Preparatory. Now, she’s double majoring in economics and Spanish at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University.

The Show spoke with them both more about it. 

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.