Mar. 18, 2006
Arizona Republic Mar. 18, 2006 12:00 AM
• Districts expect extra $136 per English-learner • Special report: Language
A look inside the classroom
Here's what is coming up for the Legislature's English-language-learners
• Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne and Republican legislative
leaders will appeal Friday's ruling by Judge Raner Collins to distribute $21
million in court fines immediately to schools coping with high numbers of
students who don't speak English. Horne will take his case to the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals, likely next week. advertisement
• Collins must decide if a $32 million legislative plan for
English-learners is an adequate solution. Gov. Janet Napolitano and
public-interest lawyers whose suit resulted in the fines don't believe it
is. Collins will hear arguments on April 3 in Tucson.
Flores case: A timeline
1992: The issue of English-language learners grows out of a lawsuit, Flores vs.
Arizona, filed by a Nogales family.
1996: Tim Hogan of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest joins the
case as a co-counsel. He takes over the case in 2000.
2000: A federal judge finds that existing funding failed to ensure that students
would overcome language barriers.
December 2001: After constant legal prodding from Hogan, the Legislature passes
a bill that more than doubles the amount for every English-learner. The state
now spends about $360 per learner.
January 2005: A federal judge rules that lawmakers still are shortchanging the
students and orders the Legislature to fix the problem by the end of its 2005
May 2005: Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoes a Republican-backed bill that would have
set aside $42 million to help Spanish-speaking students deficient in English
Dec. 16, 2005: U.S. District Judge Raner Collins orders lawmakers and Napolitano
to come up with a financial plan by late January to help educate students
struggling to learn English or be fined $500,000 a day. The penalty could rise
to $2 million a day if they fail to act.
March 3, 2006: Napolitano lets a Republican-backed plan to improve instruction
for English-learners go into law without her signature even though she has
strong objections to the bill. By this time, the fines have accumulated to $21
Friday: Collins orders the $21 million in fines to be pumped into the classroom
for the more than 150,000 students who struggle to learn English in Arizona. The
Legislature and Arizona schools Superintendent Tom Horne vow to appeal Collins'
ruling, saying the judge lacks the authority to appropriate state money.