Press Statement: UnidosUS Applauds Efforts to Roll Back Arizona’s English-Only Policy

An English learner at Tucson Unified High School. Photo by Julienne Gage.

Understanding the needs of English learners is a key focus of the UnidosUS education team. Progress Report is working to document related policies, especially in states like Arizona, which have large numbers of Latino English learners. The following is an example of how UnidosUS’s advocacy work has made headway in repealing English-only education policies that often result in lower educational performance.

UnidosUS Press Statement: 

WASHINGTON, DC—UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) commends Arizona’s House Education Committee on the February 19th passage of HCR 2026, which would give Arizona voters the opportunity to repeal the state’s English-only instruction law. Last night’s unanimous vote is an important step forward for English Learners (ELs) who, under the mandate, are subject to a restrictive approach to attain English-language proficiency.

The Structured English Immersion (SEI) model has been widely criticized for its rigid approach for teaching ELs, including pulling ELs away from their core subject areas and separating them from other students for nearly half of their school day. Additionally, a growing body of research has pointed to the negative effects of SEI when it comes to meaningful English language acquisition.

“The academic success of EL students should be paramount for lawmakers and education leaders alike. As one of the fastest growing segments of our school-aged population, it is necessary that our public schools—in Arizona and across the country—invest in systems and policies that better serve ELs and their path to college and career success,” said Amalia Chamorro, Associate Director of UnidosUS’s Education Policy Project.

“We thank Representatives John Fillmore and Michelle Udall for their leadership in ushering this bill forward and advancing policies that support the achievement of all students,” concluded Chamorro.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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