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Bilingual Bill

August 01, 1993

State Sen. Henry Mello's (D-Santa Cruz) special interest bill (SB 33) is not in the best interest of the almost 1 million California students who are not proficient in English.

Teaching children another language is laudable, but it must be in addition to English--not in place of English.

Children have only a precious few learning years to pick up the educational tools that will serve them the rest of their lives. Unarguably, the major educational tool is language--to be able to read, write and speak--and in this society, this state, this nation, and yes, this world today--the language is English. This is not a political statement. It is a fact.

The bill would mandate native language instruction for all school districts if 100 or 10% of the students did not speak English.

ANGIE PAPADAKIS, Rancho Palos Verdes. The writer is a former member of the State Board of Education.

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