<center>Letters to the Editor</center>
Expecting any student to become fluent in a foreign language in 175 days (the length of the Arizona school year) is a daunting task. More importantly, expecting that student to fully comprehend all academic subjects taught in that language would make it extremely difficult for that child to succeed.
That is exactly what Proposition 203 proposes as it targets students whose first language is not English.
Unquestionably, individuals should speak the language of the nation in which they reside.
However, not all children learn the same way or at the same pace. The beauty of the Arizona education system is that until now we’ve always found ways to accommodate those learning differences. It’s critical that we continue to take those learning differences into account, giving every student the opportunity to be successful in school.
Prop 203 destroys that chance. Eventually, it would require that all classroom instruction be taught exclusively in English. Limited English speakers would be enrolled in an English immersion program for one year. After that, limited-English speakers would be expected to perform at the same level as indigenous English speakers. Transitional programs that have been highly successful, such as bilingual education and English as a Second Language, would be discontinued.
Equally important, Prop 203 excludes teaching professionals and parents from making the final decision regarding the educational path the student is placed on. That does not bode well for the future academic success of our students.
Vote no on Prop 203.
President Arizona Education Association
Would you vote for a ballot measure that allowed the State Land Commissioner to trade away State Trust land in remote areas for US Forest land closer to urban areas so the forest land could be developed?
Would you vote for allowing agricultural and grazing leases to be renewed for long terms on State Trust land without competition that would raise the revenue derived from the land, without any public notice, and without allowing environmental or other groups to lease the land for conservation?
Would you vote to only allow a maximum of 3% of all state trust land to ever be preserved, by any means?
Would you vote to allow the State Land Department to take up to 5% of the revenues from the sale of State Trust land (your land) to “better manage” the sale of more State Trust Land?
Would you vote for allowing State Trust land to be loaned to school districts so developers wouldn’t have to donate land for schools?
All of these things are in Prop 100, which is why it was challenged—for containing several measures under one heading. It is a collection of pro-development initiatives disguised as a conservation measure that in reality preserves little or nothing. It claims to preserve State Trust land at no cost to the taxpayer, however if you read the ballot language, you find that only land the state thinks will increase the development value of adjacent State Trust land will be considered for a “donation” for conservation. This guarantees that State Trust land will be developed around the little bit preserved. Any other State Trust land, that anyone wants preserved, must be bought by the municipality it lies within or adjacent to, at full appraised value similar to the existing Arizona Preserve Initiative (API). I don’t consider this preservation “at no cost to the tax payer.” A vote for Prop 100 will enable development on federal forest lands, that we think are safe from development, and prevent us from preserving any significant amount of State Trust land now or in the future.
I urge you to take a close look at this proposition and join me in voting NO.