Capitol Alert

Bills asks California voters to consider restoring bilingual education

Californians would vote in 2016 to repeal the state’s ban on bilingual education under a bill the Legislature is sending to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Over Republican objections, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1174 Tuesday night, 25-10. The bill by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would ask voters to amend parts of a prior ballot measure, Proposition 227, that require most public schools to teach in English only.

Educational research and public attitudes have changed since voters banned bilingual education in 1998, Lara said.

Republicans said they support repealing a ban on bilingual education but argued against the measure because it will allow future changes to be made by a majority vote of the Legislature, without returning to voters.

“We put it before them, they support it, and then it comes back here and you could gut and amend it on the very next day,” said Republican leader Sen. Bob Huff of Diamond Bar.