Goddard is leery of parts of law on English-learners
Mar. 25, 2006
Attorney General Terry Goddard expressed reservations Friday about parts of a
new state law to revamp instruction of students learning English but said it
attempts to satisfy federal court rulings by linking state funding to the
programs' actual costs.
A legal brief filed by Goddard on behalf of the state was one of several filings
made in preparation for an April 3 hearing in Tucson on whether a federal judge
should find that the law approved by the Republican-led Legislature on March 2
satisfies court rulings that led to the state accruing $21 million in fines.
A different judge ruled in 2000 that Arizona's English Language Learning
programs are inadequately funded, causing shortfalls in such areas as class
size, teacher training and instruction material, in violation of a federal civil
rights law mandating equal opportunities in education.
The law, which Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano let become law without signing,
would boost the state's supplemental funding to school districts and charter
schools for each ELL student to $432, nearly 22 percent.