Arizona and English Learners

According to The Arizona Republic newspaper, the state is capable of getting fined up to $500,000 a day due to the Governor not agreeing with a court ordered ruling.

In Arizona alone, there are 150,000 children who need help improving their English skills. Gov. Napolitano feels that federal court should not be involved with this decision and has been working on a plan to increase spending on English language learners to $180 million a year. Then the expense would become a grant program with no one knowing the exact cost as of yet.

Many of the foreign learners speak Spanish and when a child cannot understand that is being taught in the classroom, they end up dropping out. There are mixed feelings and opinions regarding the issue in Arizona of how much money should be spent on English language learners.

English is one of the hardest languages to learn for a foreign speaker. Between the different vowels, spelling rules, silent letters, and words spelled the same but pronounced differently, even native English speakers get confused.

If the schools and government are concerned with making sure each child gets the proper education, then what is all the fighting over? I understand every decision always comes down to the cost per student and then the total amount per year.

Is this a Democratic / Republican argument? Is this even about the total cost of education?

This argument may be a little of both. Budgets need to be made and future spending budgets need to be researched. To develop a plan with no hard backing of research, it makes it difficult for any government office to support a decision. This is looked at as throwing away money without knowing the future.

When a plan is made in the educational world, the need for chars, budgets, test scores, teacher’s salaries, the student per teacher ratio all become vital concerns. For English language learners, smaller classes are a necessity which means more money for schools and teachers.

Children need to learn and they go to school to learn. I hope the lawmakers in Arizona can come to an agreement on the issue of spending for each English language learner. For more information,