Original URL: http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E53%257E1501240,00.html

Bilingual ed backed by 58% in U.S., poll says
Denver Post
July 9, 2003
By Eric Hubler,  Education Writer

Most Americans favor bilingual education, with support especially strong among Hispanics, African- Americans, young adults and Democrats, the Gallup polling organization said Tuesday.

Seventy-two percent of Hispanics and 73 percent of blacks polled by Gallup June 12-18 supported bilingual education, which means using the native language of a non- English-speaking student as a classroom aid for several years until he or she learns English. Fifty- three percent of whites favored the idea, Gallup said.

Overall, 58 percent of Americans were in support.

Democrats were likelier than Republicans to favor bilingual education - 69 percent versus 46 percent - as were younger adults. Seventy-five percent of 18-to-29- year-olds supported bilingual education, but only 44 percent of those 65 or older did.

Colorado voters rejected a constitutional ban on bilingual education in November, but voters in California, Arizona and Massachusetts approved such bans. Foes of such education say it hampers acquisition of English and academic skills.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has advocated English immersion in the past, recently committed $20 million to strengthen the city's bilingual programs.

The poll reached 1,385 adults and has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.