/ Modified feb 19, 2016 5:03 a.m.

Grijalva Calls for More Literacy, Dual-Language Programs

Pair of education bills would support family literacy and dual language education.

Grijalva Spot 2_2016 Rep. Raúl Grijalva reads to 5th grade students at Davis Elementary on February 18, 2016.
Mariana Dale, AZPM



U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva plans to re-introduce two bills next week to support education in English and Spanish.

The FLUEnT (Families Learning and Understanding English Together) Act would expand family literacy programs with a focus on people with limited English proficiency.

The PRIDE (Providing Resources to Improve Dual Language Education Act) Act would expand dual-language programs for preschool through 5th grade in low-income communities.

Grijalva, a Democrat from Tucson, made the announcement during a visit to Davis Bilingual Magnet School, an elementary he helped establish when he was on the Tucson Unified School District governing board.

One requirement of the bills is that sponsored programs would need proven records of success in literacy and achievement in the classroom.

TUSD parent Marisol Flores-Aquirre said as a result of bilingual education programs, her children switch easily between English and Spanish and understand both cultures.

"When you can see yourself reflected in your community and in your curriculum, I think you are seeing your students are achieving," Flores-Aquirre said.

Grijalva said he anticipates pushback from those who do not see the value in learning a second language or spending millions of dollars on the programs.

“The end of each is fully competent English speakers coming out whether it’s a parent or the student," Grijalva said.

Grijlava has introduced similar legislation in past sessions as early as 2005.

MORE: Arizona, News, Tucson
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona