Tucson, Arizona | Published: http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/141998
PHOENIX — Top state officials have named the final appointees to fill out a new panel to improve Arizona public school programs for students learning the English language.
The appointments last week by Gov. Janet Napolitano and Senate President Ken Bennett follow those made earlier by House Speaker Jim Weiers and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne.
The nine-member English Language Learner task force is being created under a law enacted last spring to answer a court order requiring the state to bolster its English Language Learning programs.
The panel will develop instructional models for school districts to use in designing their ELL programs.
Napolitano's appointments were Scottsdale Unified School District Superintendent John Baracy and an Arizona State University education expert, Eugene Garcia.
Bennett appointed economist Alan Maguire and retired teacher Johanna Haver.
Horne previously picked state Deputy Superintendent Margaret Garcia Dugan, Nogales elementary school Principal Anna Rosas and Karen Merritt, Glendale Union High School District ELL coordinator.
Weiers' appointees were former Paradise Valley Unified School District administrator Jim DiCello and Yuma County Schools Superintendent Tom Tyree.
The adequacy and legality of the ELL law are being contested in federal court. It was approved by the Republican-led Legislature over Napolitano's opposition, but she let it become law without her signature.
Supporters contend the law would adequately fund ELL programs while ensuring the use of effective instruction. Napolitano and other opponents contend the funding increase is inadequate and that the law has other flaws.
Enactment of the law stopped daily fines that had reached $21 million.