HB 2054 VOTE: NO
Signed into Law by Gov Brown on 06/06/21
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/HB2056
This bill allows non-English students to fulfill graduation requirements by taking language arts classes in their native languages to satisfy diploma requirements English.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
This is the United States. To have employment options one must have basic English readiness. Effectively disenfranchises non-English speakers from receiving an education through public schools, leaving them unable to have educational and occupational opportunities.
Allows schools to continue to receive public funds and grants to service non-English speakers, without accountability to serve them.
“Language Arts” includes reading, writing and other communications in any language, including English or a student’s primary language. In the 2018-2019 school year, the most recent year for which data is available, Oregon had 53,559 English language learners enrolled. This equates to 9.24 percent of Oregon’s K-12 students. The most commonly spoken languages among Oregon’s English language learners include Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, Somali, and Korean. Expands the definition of world language to include any language other than a student’s native language. Defines Holocaust and genocide studies. Repeals statutory requirement that instruction in all subjects in public, private, and parochial schools shall be conducted primarily in English. This is a clear directive from the state to further relegate what happens in classrooms. It also redefines the Holocaust, to the point that any narrative that can claim “acts of mass violence” is equal to the atrocities that happened during the European Holocaust against the Jews under the Nazis.
This is a very complex issue and can only be addressed in local communities based on the diversity and types of non-English speakers and their roles in the community. The response has mostly been to offer these students modified or extended diplomas which are looked down upon by potential employers.
This bill could limit the free market for non-English speakers by not requiring schools to teach them English. This will also affect non-public schools and the labor market. The next step will be a law that prohibits employers from refusing to hire non-English speaking people.