Goddard is leery of parts of law on English-learners
Associated Press
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.