Without a dream we need bilingual
The Arizona Republic
May. 11, 2005
State and federal laws prohibit intentionally giving a rotten education to
students living here illegally. That means Phoenix schools are going to keep
producing smart kids who want to attend college and get high-paying jobs. So,
the least we can do is bring back bilingual education.
Not to teach these kids English, but so they can relearn Spanish.
The number of smart students who crossed the border illegally as toddlers is
reaching epidemic levels, despite the efforts of Republican legislators to
undermine public education.
Trouble is, a college degree doesn't change legal status. Because they're
here illegally, they have no Social Security number and can't get one without
returning to their home country for at least 10 years.
A bill in Congress called the Dream Act would allow college students to obtain
some legal status. But don't bet on it passing.
So, it seems fair that we prepare these kids to use their education in Mexico,
Central America or Spain. Otherwise, the education taxpayers have provided will
go to waste. These students might speak conversational Spanish, but they need to
learn the higher-level terms that would let them be an engineer or accountant.
They'll need calculus, chemistry and physics in espaņol.
Voters banned bilingual education a few years ago because people said it lured
kids into the country.
This is different. Here, bilingual education would provide these brainiacs
incentive to leave.
Reach Ruelas at (602) 444-8473 or