Oregon Public School English Immersion, Measure 58 (2008)
Election results via:Oregon Secretary of State
The measure would have limited the use of foreign language instruction in public schools to:
- 1 year for students in kindergarten to 4th grade.
- 1.5 years for 5th grade through 8th grade.
- 2 years for high school students.
- It would also prohibit ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching programs for longer than the mandated time.
Estimated fiscal impact
The state's Financial Estimate Committee prepares estimated fiscal impact statements for any ballot measures that will appear on the ballot. The estimate prepared by this committee for Measure 58 says:
- The measure will require additional local school spending of between $203 and $253 million in each of the first two years, based on considerations of what it would cost to bring students who currently speak a foreign language up to federal standards.
- The more conservative estimate offered by the Financial Estimate Committee is based on the experience in Arizona with a similar measure.
Chief petitioner Bill Sizemore disputed the state's financial estimate, and said the measure would save education money, contending that "these kids will learn English more quickly when they are required to do so.",
Arguments for Measure 58
Notable arguments made in favor of Measure 58 included:
- If the measure passes, it will improve the education of Oregon's immigrant children because it will bring about "specialized, intensive English instruction".
- Current programs in Oregon to teach English to students who do not speak English as a first language are failing; as evidence, supporters of Measure 50 cite a 2007 Oregon Department of Education study that indicated that only 22 of the state's 129 school districts are meeting minimum standards in this area.
- "Limited English Proficiency" (LEP) students in the state are funded at 150% the rate for regular students but this extra funding, supporters say, is not working. It isn't the money that is being spent that is the issue, they argue, but how the money is being spent.
- School districts don't have the incentive to move students out of the LEP category because the school districts get more money from the state education department for LEP students than for non-LEP students.
- A 23-member Citizens' Initiative Review panel examined this ballot measure in-depth in September 2008. They spent five days listening to advocates both for and against the measure. The final vote was 14 opposed to the measure, 9 in support. Final analysis and statement
Measure 58 was opposed by the Parents and Teachers Know Better Coalition, which described itself as "a broad coalition of parents, teachers, and school advocates who care about Oregon's students & schools." The Parents and Teachers Know Better campaign was part of the Defend Oregon coalition, which opposed all five of the ballot initiatives on the November 4 ballot that were sponsored by Sizemore.
Members of the coalition included Stand for Children, Oregon PTA, United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, Oregon Education Association, American Federation of Teachers-Oregon, Oregon School Employees Association, and the Human Services Coalition of Oregon, among others.
Arguments against Measure 58
Notable arguments made against Ballot Measure 58 included:
- It offers a "one-size-fits-all" mandate that doesn't take into account the differences in students' ability to learn academic English.
- English acquisition researcher Jim Cummins at the University of Toronto it typically takes students five to seven years to acquire full mastery of a second language.
- It is too expensive.
- It doesn't define what it means by "English immersion".
- It doesn't make any exceptions for students with learning disabilities.
- It isn't based on any research on how students learn. Most language acquisition experts say it takes five to seven years for children to become proficient enough in a new language to meet academic requirements.
- It will ban popular dual-immersion programs.
- A 23-member Citizens' Initiative Review panel examined this ballot measure in-depth in September 2008. They spent five days listening to advocates both for and against the measure. The panel voted widely to oppose Measure 58, with 14 voting against it and 9 voting for it. Final analysis and statement
Donors opposed to Measure 58
Two campaign committees opposed to Measure 58 registered. They are Defend Oregon and the Committee to Protect Local Control of Schools (CPLCS), led by Kevin Neely, who is also the treasurer of Defend Oregon.
CPLCS reports no significant financial activity as of September 29.
Defend Oregon, as a committee, fought seven different ballot measures, and supported two others. Altogether, the group raised $9 million in 2008.
Major donations to the Defend Oregon group as of October 23 included:
- $5.2 million from the Oregon Education Association.,
- $1.2 million from SEIU.
- $450,000, American Federation of Teachers
- $600,000, AFSCME.
- $100,000 from School Employees Exercising Democracy (SEED)
- $100,000 from the AFL-CIO.
- $50,000 from Oregon AFSCME Council 75.
Newspaper editorial opinion
No Oregon newspaper endorsed a "yes" vote on Measure 58.
The Oregonian, Medford Mail Tribune, Statesman Journal, Bend Bulletin, Portland Tribune, Eugene Register-Guard, Daily Astorian, East Oregonian, Corvallis Gazette Times, The World (Coos Bay), Willamette Week, Yamhill Valley News Register, and the Gresham Outlook all endorsed a "no" vote.
See also: Endorsements of Oregon ballot measures.
Citizen Initiative Review
Non-profit Healthy Democracy Oregon performed a demonstration of the Citizens' Initiative Review process using Measure 58. Twenty-three Oregonians convened for an extensive review of the measure, and published statements in favor of and opposing the measure. Fourteen panelists opposed the measure.
Path to the ballot
What became Oregon Ballot Measure 58 started out as Oregon Initiative Petition 19; it was originally approved for petition circulation on August 30, 2006.
The office of the Oregon Secretary of State announced on June 16, 2008 that its unofficial signature verification process showed that the initiative's supporters had turned in 83,248 valid signatures, versus a requirement of 82,769 signatures. This represented a validity rate of 66.88% calculated over the 124,476 signatures turned in. ,
A union-funded watchdog group asked the Oregon Secretary of State to conduct an investigation into how some of the signatures on the measure were collected. Bill Bradbury, the Secretary of State has said, ""...most all of the initiatives Oregon voters will decide this fall got there through practices that are now illegal. But those practices were legal at the time most of the signatures were submitted." A lawsuit has been filed in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the new laws governing the initiative process in Oregon.,,
- Oregon 2008 ballot measures
- 2008 ballot measures
- List of Oregon ballot measures
- Campaign finance requirements for Oregon ballot measures
- Oregon Initiative and Referendum Law
- Oregon signature requirements
- Petition drive deadlines in 2008
- Oregon Voters' Pamphlet for Measure 58
- 2008 General Election Measures: Voter Guide
- Full text of the initiative
- Certified ballot title letter from the Oregon Attorney General
- Letters received from Oregon residents during the ballot title designation period
- 2008 Election Results
- Official Explanatory Statement
- Official Financial Estimate Summary
- Citizens' Initiative Review Analysis and Statement
- Committee contributions at FollowTheMoney.org
- Campaign website for Parents And Teachers Know Better, the No on Measure 58 campaign
- Website for Defend Oregon
- "Vote No on 58" from the Oregon Education Association
- ↑ Estimated financial impact of Oregon Ballot Measure 58, 2008
- ↑ Financial Estimate Committee's explanation of how it derived its financial impact estimate for Measure 58
- ↑ State puts high price tag on education measures
- ↑ Measures could squeeze Oregon budget, critics say
- ↑ Arguments in favor of Ballot Measure 58
- ↑ Parents and Teachers Know Better Coalition
- ↑ Oregon Voters' Pamphlet, list of opponents of Measure 50
- ↑ Immigration ballot measure
- ↑ CAUSA, "Citizen Jury condemns Oregon measure limiting bilingual ed", September 26, 2008
- ↑ Financial records for CPLCS
- ↑ Campaign finance history of Defend Oregon for 2008
- ↑ Record of donations to Defend Oregon
- ↑ Oregon Live, "Teachers, nurses add $2.5 million to campaigns", September 10, 2008
- ↑ "Oregon teachers, other unions wage costly war against measures"
- ↑ Oregonian, "School workers add $100,000 to campaign", August 25, 2008
- ↑ | The Oregonian
- ↑ Medford Mail-Tribune
- ↑ Statesman Journal
- ↑ Bend Bulletin
- ↑ Portland Tribune
- ↑ Eugene Register-Guard
- ↑ Daily Astorian
- ↑ East Oregonian
- ↑ Corvallis Gazette Times
- ↑ Coos Bay The World
- ↑ Willamette Week
- ↑ Yamhill Valley News Register
- ↑ Gresham Outlook
- ↑ http://www.healthydemocracyoregon.org/node/81
- ↑ TDN.com: "Sizemore initiatives reach Oregon signature threshold", The Daily News, June 17, 2008
- ↑ Unofficial signature verification statement from the Oregon Secretary of State
- ↑ KATU-TV, "Union watchdog group asks for initiative review", July 20, 2008
- ↑ News.OPB.org: "Progressive Group Claims Ballot Petitions Included Forgeries", Oregon Public Broadcasting, July 15, 2008
- ↑ NW Labor Press, "Sizemore operation faces new forgery allegations", August 1, 2008
- "Oregon’s Anti-ESL Measure Debated", CAUSA Oregon, July 15, 2008
- "Measure Limiting English Learning to Cost Oregonians a Quarter of a Billion Dollars", CAUSA
- Oregon has voted against him, but Sizemore fights on, The Oregonian, September 6, 2008
- Committee majority finds fault with English language proposal
- Measure 58 would re-write English teaching in Oregon