Home Health & Wellness CA English-Learner Programs to Get $10 Million in Current Budget

CA English-Learner Programs to Get $10 Million in Current Budget

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — One in four public-school students in California is an English learner, and now programs to help them become more fluent will receive funding to the tune of $10 million. 

The Newsom administration has agreed to add those funds to the current budget – and lawmakers will then hold until next year a bill that would fund bilingual programs going forward.

Efrain Mercado, who is part of the state’s Dual Instruction Transition Team and is director of education for the nonprofit Children Now, said the money would be used to implement Prop 58, the Global Education Initiative, which was a reversal of the Prop 227 English-only approach from the 1990s.

“We used to think that students had to have English-only instruction in their main classrooms and then they would be pulled out for special sheltered classes,” Mercado said. “Today, it’s much more integrated.”

There are 1.4 million English learners in the Golden State public school system. California students speak more than 60 native languages, and 60% of children younger than age five were born into homes where English is a second language.

Mercado said in the 1980s and 1990s, the English as a Second Language programs made students feel like their first language was devalued, whereas the current curriculum celebrates diversity.

“Now it’s respecting that home language; having that home language be an asset as opposed to a detriment, use that as a bridge to learning English,” he explained.

Mercado said he hopes the program will improve the graduation rate for English learners, which stands at just under 71%, compared with 85.1% in the general student population.Disclosure: Children Now/KIDS COUNT contributes to our fund for reporting on Children’s Issues, Youth Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

Must Read

BROADWAY’S IDINA MENZEL DEBUTS AT LA’S GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE IN ‘SKINTIGHT”

For the last decade or so playwrights and artistic directors have been leading the charge toward change in what is being produced in America's...

Pet Adoption Can Be a Win for All

3 Ways Pet Adoption Can Be a Win for All Pet adoption improves – and sometimes saves – the lives of millions...

PLAYWRIGHT PETER SHAFFER’S POWERFUL TONY AWARD-WINNING DRAMA “AMADEUS” WOWS AUDIENCES AT NORTH COAST REPERTORY THEATRE

English playwright Sir Peter Schaffer’s stunning 1979 Tony-winning play “Amadeus; went on to win the 1985 Motion Picture Academy Award Oscar along with seven...

SAN DIEGO’S OLD GLOBE THEATRE STAGES “ROMEO AND JULIET” THE WORLD’S GREATEST LOVE STORY

There have been many love stories written about the redemptive power of love in all its art forms: poems, songs, odes, sonnets, essays, novels, movies,...

SAN DIEGO’S OLD GLOBE THEATRE DELIVERS A DELIGHTFUL WINNING COMEDY ROMP

Silly is, as silly does, could easily be the subtitle following the name of the current comedy/farce romp "The Underpants," now on stage at...
%d bloggers like this: