Veto This Bill Mayor Mike

Pssst! Mayor Bloomberg — there is a bill on your desk — Intro 464A, that needs your attention. And your first veto of 2006! The bill proposes to translate documents into the eight most commonly spoken foreign languages for parents who don’t speak English. The City Council passed the bill on Dec. 21 by a 35-11 vote with one abstention.
Critics of the bill point to a $20 million price tag for the Department of Education. Proponents focus on enabling non-English-speaking parents to participate in their children’s educational progress.
We agree with Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. who says that “anyone who gives a parent or child the impression that it’s not necessary to learn English immediately is doing them a disservice.”
While getting school documents like report cards, permission slips and notices about school events sent home in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, Urdu and Arabic, may help inform some English-impaired parents about their children’s education, it will not help them communicate, i.e. participate, with the schools, teachers and administrators at all. They will still have to learn the English language.
We strongly encourage you to use your veto power Mr. Mayor and let us fervently hope the Council falls short in any effort to override that veto. We agree with the critics; the Board of Education can surely find better ways to spend $20 million of our tax dollars.

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