ENGLISH ONLY MOVEMENT.
There is a movement taking place throughout the country aimed at making English the official language of the United States. When approached about the English Only Movement, many people are surprised to find that English is not already the "official" language and are eager to lend their support. Most people who agree to support the English Only Movement are not aware of the impact it has toward creating equal opportunities throughout the country (Abale 1). Those who oppose the movement see it as a step backward towards equality for minorities. As a representative of the U. S. Military, an Equal Opportunity Advisor must know the pros and cons of the English Only Movement and the issues involved as they relate to the military community.
The main focus of the English Only Movement is to eliminate or limit bilingual education in public schools, prevent state and local governments from spending tax dollars on translations of road signs and government documents, and to abolish multilingual ballots. The legislation places no restrictions on which language a person speaks at home, in the community, church or workplace, it simply states that for anyone to effectively participate in a representative democracy, dominated by English for over 200 years, people must learn to speak English (Shelby 2). A majority of money spent on bilingual education is for Hispanics. Bilingual education is not working. Hispanics in California have a 56.8% high school completion rate, significantly lower than other minorities. Approximately 18% of American Hispanics over 25 years old are functional illiterates, compared to 10% for black and 3% for whites (Abale 2). With the outbreak of companies and government agencies providing language classes to employees to assist non-English speaking people conduct routine daily business, the chances of assimilation become less likely.