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You are here: Home News CRP Bulletin/Noticiero Volume 1, Issue 2 HELPING CONSTITUENTS UNDERSTAND SCA5 and SB1174


This section focuses on two new California legislative actions and how they relate to the work of the CRP.

The 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision marked a milestone, one that changed national policy and eliminated “separate but equal” rules, with a mission to eliminate segregation in school districts. Brown triggered the Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which led to the desegregation of several facets of our nation. As the 60 year anniversary of this landmark ruling approaches on May 17, we reflect on the educational inequalities that persist and the gains deferred for many groups. California constituents, in particular, will probably be presented with two initiatives in 2016 that could expand equity in education for underrepresented students.

Both Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA5), a bill that would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to remove the ban on affirmative action, and California Bilingual Education Amendment Senate Bill 1174 (SB1174), a bill that would restore parents’ right to choose bilingual education programs for their children (without having to seek a waiver), are of critical importance to the work of the Civil Rights Project. These are two longstanding areas of policy and research with which CRP has been deeply engaged.

SCA5 would restore a critically needed tool to increase access for many students of color to higher education options. The loss of any form of affirmative action has deeply affected California. The state is currently unable to produce the numbers of college degrees that it needs to keep the economy strong. In large part, this underproduction of B.A.s by California is because 55% of the high school graduates come from underrepresented groups with low rates of degree attainment. We are currently engaged in researching the effects of banning affirmative action in the state and the potential gains that could occur for the state if it were to restore it. CRP recently collaborated with a coalition of mainly Asian American/Pacific Islanders and issued a policy paper that dispels misconstrued beliefs regarding diversity in colleges and universities. In addition, our research evaluating the impact of affirmative action bans can also be found on our website and includes:

With respect to SB1174, new Stanford research demonstrates that bilingual instruction has significant advantages for English learners, both in academic achievement as well as in the acquisition of English and likelihood of being reclassified as proficient in English. Students who remain in bilingual/dual language programs outperform those in English only. This bill would allow the state of California to re-commit to developing strong programs that hold the promise of much better academic outcomes for English learners, as well as for other students, such as English monolingual students who would like to be in dual language programs, and students in International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. In September, the Project will release a new book, The Bilingual Advantage: Language, Literacy, and the U.S. Labor Market, edited by Rebecca Callahan and Patricia Gándara, that shows the economic benefits for ALL students who are able to achieve a level of proficiency in another language, as well as the actual economic costs of NOT developing bilingualism in those students who are poised to be bilingual. We now know that in this globalizing economy, bilingual individuals will have significant advantages over monolinguals in the labor market. 




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