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Senate President Responds to U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Flores Case

The United States Supreme Court today reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Court in the Flores case. The Supreme Court held that both the Ninth Circuit and the District Court used the wrong standards to evaluate the case.

“This opinion vindicates the Legislature and Arizona,” Senate President Bob Burns said. “I am confident that when the district court examines these factors under the correct standard, it will conclude that Arizona has a very effective and well-developed program for ELL instruction.”

The Supreme Court said that the lower courts need to look at whether changes Arizona has made in its ELL program since the judgment was entered in 2000, including the English immersion requirement, bring the state into compliance with the federal Equal Education Opportunity Act.

When the case gets back to the District Court in Tucson, that court also is directed to re-examine whether the case should continue as a statewide case or be limited to Nogales Unified only.

Recent test results have proven that Structured English Immersion works and is the best way to teach our youngsters a command of the English language. These test results also vindicate the Legislature’s fight to help these students learn English. There is strong evidence that Arizona’s program leads the nation.

Clinging to the discredited practices of the past, including the failed bilingual-education method hurts these children, who must learn English to survive and thrive in our society and economy.

Click here to read the ruling:

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