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Deukmejian Veto of Bilingual Bill

October 12, 1986

Gov. Deukmejian's veto of the bilingual education bill is a tragic mistake that will have profound consequences for linguistic minority children in California.

Children from non-English-speaking households must be taught in a language they understand. Their first language must continue to be the instrument of transition to a new world of ideas in another language and culture. That is the intent of quality bilingual education.

Proponents of bilingual education and champions of quality education in California have identical goals: to insure that every child in the state receives an excellent education.

The issue of language use of instruction continues to be politicized and confused. The governor's veto will undoubtedly trigger more intolerance toward children who should not be punished for being linguistically and culturally different.

HENRY T. TRUEBA

Santa Barbara

Trueba is a professor of education at UC Santa Barbara.

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