Date of Award

Spring 1979

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dupuis, A.

Second Advisor

Soto-Ruiz, Luis

Third Advisor

Moore, Joan W.


As the numbers of Spanish-speaking youngsters in the state of Wisconsin have increased, so have the programs in bilingual-bicultural education. Contributing to the rise of bilingual education have been community awareness, public school programs, and legislative action. The latter, legislative action, provided legal and financial support for bilingual-bicultural programs in the schools. Throughout the history of the United States, bilingual schools have been promoted by many ethnic groups, among them German, Polish, and French. Spanish-English bilingual programs began principally in the 1960's in states with large Spanish- speaking populations. As Wisconsin acquired a significant Hispanic population, it, too, developed Spanish- English school programs. This study presents the legal aspects of bilingual education, with emphasis on Spanish- English education. Essentially, a historic approach is used, integrating pertinent political and cultural influences. To provide perspective for modern legislative foundations for bilingual education, the study begins by reviewing historical, sociological, and legal considerations in the past. The history of bilingual education in the United States is presented as background for the current public, legislative, and educational movements toward bilingual programs. Specific events in the State of Wisconsin leading to the establishment of bilingual programs are related. Implications for the future of bilingual education stress high quality training and language proficiency of teachers (and others) who work with the increasing Spanish-speaking population in the schools.



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