Flores by the Numbers
Arizona Republic   



House Democrats complained long and loud this week when they learned, to no one's surprise, that GOP leadership planned to appeal an unfavorable ruling in the long-running legal battle over educating English-language learners. Borrowing a phrase from across the partisan aisle, enough is enough is enough, they said.

More specifically, Rep. Lena Seradnik, D-Tucson, had a virtual spreadsheet of numbers to illustrate the cost and duration of the struggle, which is nearing its 15th year. She noted the original lawsuit was filed Aug. 20, 1992.

That was 5,073 days ago (as of March 29), she said, time during which "the teachers of Arizona have watched
their students struggle as their government officials bicker with each
other about how much it should cost to educate them."

Then there was the Jan. 24, 2000, court order directing Arizona to comply with the federal law on English-language instruction. That was 2,261 days (as of March 29) ago, Saradnik said, and during that time, lawmakers have been in session for 1,016 days with no results.

All of which fell on generally deaf Republican ears, since GOP leadership feels there are important fiscal and philosophical issues caught up in the Flores case. If nothing else, it proves the Democrats can count, or at least have access to some pretty good calculators.

--Mary Jo Pitzl