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Friday, August 8, 2008

Measure Limiting English Learning to Cost Oregonians a Quarter of a Billion Dollars

Yesterday, it was reported that the State Financial Estimate Committee, comprised of four state officials and one local representative, put a price tag of $250 Million to Oregonians on Measure 58. The measure, placed on the November Ballot by anti-tax activist Bill Sizemore, would limit English language instruction to Oregon students to 2 years.

According to the numbers, Measure 58 would have a drastic impact on Oregon’s General Fund, slashing available funding for colleges and universities, health care, human services, public schools and public safety. In the tough economic times that Oregonians find themselves, Measure 58 would only add to hardship many already face.

So why will Measure 58 cost so much? According to the Financial Estimate Committee, $250 million will be spent in each of the first two years for training new “English immersion” teachers and aides for local school districts.

Aside from the Measure being very costly, it also imposes a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and takes away local control from teachers, parents and school districts who know what works best for their local schools. The Measure also does not make exceptions for students with learning disabilities which would require them to learn English in the same amount of time putting pressure on teachers and students.

In addition, Measure 58 would hinder the ability of ELL students to learn and grasp the English language, thereby having a detrimental impact on their future. Oregon doesn’t need an unfunded mandate that does nothing to improve our schools and puts unrealistic deadlines on how many years it takes to learn English.

Last but not least, the measure is so poorly written it doesn’t specify how the system would work, who qualifies for the program or how it would be implemented.

Taking into account all the variables, it is not hard to see that Measure 58 poses a cost too great to Oregonians.

Fiscal Impact of Measure 58
Ballot Title and Statement
"State Puts High Price Tag On Education Measures"
"Measures could slash state revenues"


Abel Johnson said...

What does Bill Sizemore know about educating children? Guys like Sizemore and the rest of the haters should just be honest that they don't want these chidren educated period. They would much rather keep them dumb and stupid so the best they can hope for is to work at McDonalds. I will be voting "No" on everything Sizemore has his name on.

Abel Johnson
Portland, OR

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