The State of Illinois is mired in a severe budget crisis, which has left it at risk of becoming the first state ever branded with a junk bond rating.
The new school year begins soon, as well, in Illinois, but the budget crisis means that schools may not be able to stay open for more than a few weeks past the first day of school, or may not be able to open at all.
Part of the Illinois educational budget crisis is due to the fact that the current budget package, which allocates an additional $350 million of basic state aid to schools, seeks to include an addition of $29 million for bilingual education, or 8.2% of the total proposed additional aid to schools.
ProEnglish has consistently shown that bilingual education – which is the practice of teaching non-English-speaking children in their native language while they learn English – fails to teach students the English language and literacy that they need for educational success. The idea has proven to be a failure. Graduating without fluency and literacy in English deprives students of opportunity in an English-speaking country.
Nonetheless, Illinois still requires bilingual education, and seeks an additional $29 million to fund it, even as the state faces the threat of a junk bond rating.
Illinois would better serve its students by ending bilingual education and replacing it with an English Immersion program.