The Responsibility of Bilingual Education
Bilingual education in public schools has been the topic of much discussion over the last several years. This discussion has been prompted due to the ever increasing numbers of Spanish-speaking persons emigrating to the United States, especially in those states that border Mexico--California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. What the debate seems always to overlook is our country’s other non-English speaking members. This country is now and has always been the “Melting Pot” for the world with persons emigrating to this country from most every country in the world; however, we commonly gear the focus of bilingual education toward our Spanish-speaking citizens.
Something we should point out is that for the most part these people are coming to the United States of their own will. They leave their loved ones, homes, and country to seek a better life in this country and in some cases expect, even demand, that the taxpayers of this country foot the bill. Educating the world in the language of their own country and English should not be a burden for the United States to bear.
Having been married into a Hispanic family provided many opportunities to gather data, both pro and con, on the subject of bilingual education. Often family members felt that bilingual education should be mandatory in public schools; however, the non-English speaking adults in the household made no attempt to become English-speaking members of the community. I have even witnessed instances where one parent was bilingual yet continued to use the Spanish language as the primary language of the household. If the English-speaking member of the household is not willing to assist the other members of the family in learning and using English why should the taxpayers be forced to provide education in Spanish? Other members of my Hispanic family voiced great opposition to mandatory bilingual education. They believed it should be the...