News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

English-learner case strains Arizona's coffers

Deadline creates dilemma for cash-strapped state

Mary Jo Pitzl
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 26, 2008 12:00 AM

State government, already strapped for money, could be staring down a bill for millions of dollars for failing to fund a program to teach English to students struggling to learn the language.

And the financial cost to the state will grow even more, as legislative leaders and the state schools chief indicated Monday that they will appeal the English-language issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

The latest developments in the case of Flores vs. Arizona underscore the financial and philosophical issues at stake.

On the one hand, lawmakers face a March 4 deadline to fund English-language programs adequately. That's a deadline they said Monday that they can't meet.

That will send attorney Tim Hogan of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest back to a federal judge in Tucson to seek sanctions. Those penalties could be similar, if not identical, to fines that were imposed on the state two years ago for dragging its feet on the English-language issue: $500,000 a day, climbing over time.

On another front, state officials will appeal Friday's ruling from a three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court rejected their arguments that they have resolved the dilemma about English-language instruction and thus should be removed from the requirements imposed by Judge Raner Collins of U.S. District Court.

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