Bilingual Education

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A Republican lawmaker says he believes Coloradans want to abolish bilingual education. But Representative Richard Decker says a failed constitutional amendment proposed in November was too strongly worded.

Decker -- who's from Fountain -- says he will introduce a bill next year that would put non-English-speaking students through two years of English-immersion classes before placing them in English-only classrooms.

Amendment 31 would have required only one year of English immersion.

It also would have allowed parents to sue teachers or school districts if they believed the wrong decisions were made about a child's education.

Decker says his proposal also would exempt school districts with fewer than 20 non-English-speaking students.

Rita Montero -- the former Denver school board member who led the campaign for Amendment 31 -- says Decker's proposal is better than nothing.

But she says any English-immersion policy has to have an enforcement provision.