'Flores vs. Arizona'
Mar. 23, 2007
1992: The issue of English-language learners grows out of a lawsuit, Flores vs.
Arizona, filed by a Nogales family.
2000: A federal judge finds that existing funding fails to ensure that students
will overcome language barriers.
December 2005: U.S. District Judge Raner Collins orders lawmakers and Gov.
Janet Napolitano to come up with a plan to educate students struggling to learn
English or be fined up to $1 million a day. March 3, 2006: Napolitano lets a
plan to improve instruction for English-learners go into law without her
signature even though she has strong objections. Fines had accumulated to $21
March 17, 2006: Collins orders the $21 million in fines to be pumped into
classrooms for English-learners. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom
Horne vows to appeal.
April 6: A ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals prevents the state from
divvying up the $21 million.
April 27: Collins rejects Republican-backed legislation to improve instruction.
Aug. 24: The 9th Circuit erases Collins' order, meaning Arizona does not have to
pay $21 million in fines and that English-learners have to pass the AIMS test to
Jan. 9: An evidentiary hearing begins in Tucson and runs for eight days.
Thursday: Collins concludes that the state's new plan to teach English-learners
violates federal law and orders the Legislature to comply with the court's order
before the end of this session.
-The Arizona Republic