Bilingual Education Act

Vivian Rodriguez

The Bilingual Education Act

In 1967, Senator Ralph Yarborough of Texas introduced a bill which proposed to provide assistance to school districts in establishing educational programs specifically for LESA students. Among the recommendations of this bill were the teaching of Spanish as a native language, the teaching of English as a second language, and programs designed to give Spanish-speaking students an appreciation of ancestral language and culture.

Why Its An Ineffective Act

There is often a disconnect between a law and its implementation, especially with an issue as controversial as bilingual education. State officials can subvert the law through interpretations that don’t conform to its intent; school districts can change their policies without making genuine changes in curriculum; or teachers can ignore the mandates, closing their classroom doors and doing as they please.

Why was it hard for the Spanish-speakers ?

Spanish-speaking Americans were in fact slow to emulate their European predecessors' demands for bilingual education. Organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Mexican-American Political Association, and the American GI Forum, while not unmindful of their Hispanic heritage, stressed political, social, and economic equality for Mexican Americans and attempted to integrate Mexican Americans fully into American life. LULAC thus placed special stress on ending job discrimination and de facto segregation in school.