Initiative set for ballot would curb
An initiative to end bilingual education in Oregon has qualified for the November ballot, officials with the secretary of state's office said.
If approved by voters, Initiative No. 19 — sponsored by Bill Sizemore — would ban bilingual education for all children in public schools learning English as a Second Language after two years of instruction.
The proposed statutory amendment does allow for instruction of a foreign language to English-speaking students.
Current state law requires that public-school subjects be taught primarily in English.
However, it permits instruction in more than one language to students whose native language is not English.
The petition required 82,769 signatures to get on the ballot. Of the 124,476 signatures collected, about 67 percent, or 83,248, were valid.
The results are considered unofficial until Aug. 2, the constitutional deadline for certification of all initiatives submitted for the November election.
A onetime-prolific petition writer, Sizemore lost a bid for the gubernatorial seat in 1998 to former Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber.
tguerrero-huston@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6815