The bill, known as the Education Equity Act was introduced by Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona) and was passed in the Council by a 35-11 vote on Dec. 21, with one abstention. Bloomberg has until Jan. 20 to veto the bill.The controversial bill would require the DOE to translate all forms handed out to parents in a quantity over 1,000 to be printed in nine languages, including English. The other eight languages are Russian, Korean, Urdu, Spanish, Cantonese, Haitian/Creole, Mandarin and Bengali. Though a number of Council members support the bill and say that it would better allow immigrant parents to communicate with their children, several councilman have opposed it.Councilman Dennis Gallagher (R-Middle Village) said he is against the bill because DOE money should be spent on books, paraprofessionals or teachers' salaries rather than translating documents into different languages. He said the bill would cost the DOE an estimated $20 million per year and might open the door for translating other languages.
©2006 Community News Group
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