Adios To Bilingual Education

Teaching in a foreign language could be illegal next week in schools across California. That's when Proposition 227 goes into effect if last ditch legal challenges by civil rights organizations fail, CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes reports.

Teachers who once instructed in a foreign language must begin teaching everything in English as part of an intensive English immersion plan.

"Everything you know, the way you teach suddenly is going to be non-existent and that's a scary thought. It's kind of like having the rug pulled out from under you," said third-grade teacher Victoria Kalantarians.

And while they prepare to make the change, educators worry about the consequences to students; especially kindergarteners and first graders.

"They've never had a day of English in their life. They are going to be crying, frustrated, confused," said elementary school principal Maxene Matlene.

Voters only approved Proposition 227 last month, and the swiftness of its implementation has brought chaos to many bilingual schools.

Many schools are so unprepared they are looking for any way to get around the new law. In Orange County, teachers started work Friday instead of Monday, which lets them delay Proposition 227's implementation for a while.

And at least two other California school districts think they can circumvent the law by creating alternative bilingual schools.

That doesn't sit well with Proposition 227 supporters.

"I feel if you came to the United States you should learn English," said a woman who opposes bilingual education.

The Los Angeles school district, once opposed to Proposition 227, is now resigned to it and says the schools are ready. Other states, considering similar laws, are looking West to see if the new programs pass or fail.

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