Latest ruling near in English-learner case
Arizona Republic
Feb. 27, 2007 

The long-running court battle over English-language learners is nearing the end of its latest chapter. Written closing arguments in the case, Flores vs. Arizona are due March 12 in U.S. District Court in Tucson. This comes after a trial that began the first week of the legislative session and ran more than a week.

Judge Raner Collins allowed three weeks for a written transcript of the trial to be prepared, then allowed attorneys another three weeks to prepare final arguments.

House Majority Leader Tom Boone said Collins promised to rule quickly in the case, which is over the money and time the state must commit to helping students learn English. "I believe he has every intent to rule before the end of the legislative session," Boone said. That would be timely, giving lawmakers time to react to the decision before they go home for the year.

A settlement offer from Tim Hogan, attorney for the plaintiff school districts, is still under discussion, Boone said. There are key requirements that legislative leaders want to see in any resolution to the case, which started in federal court in 1992. They include which models should be followed for English instruction and the length of time that should be required each day for English-language instruction, Boone said.