MA Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition K-12
Educating Our Future
One in five children under age 18 are immigrants; one in four are children of immigrants. Investing in their education should be a state and national priority.
We believe that all K-12 students, regardless of race or national origin, should have adequate access to English and foreign language educational opportunities in Massachusetts public schools. All Massachusetts high school graduates admitted to the state's public colleges and universities should also be allowed to pay tuition at the same rate as their fellow Massachusetts primary school classmates.
Leave no ELLs behind
During academic year 2009, more than 147,000 students in Massachusetts spoke English as a second language--up by 20 percent from a decade earlier. Of those, 57,000 lacked English proficiency--over a quarter more than in 1999.
Since Massachusetts eliminated bilingual education in 2002, Limited English Proficiency students were left behind:
- LEP students are 9 times more likely to dropout. (10.4%)
- The current 'one-size-fits-all' model for English language learners will continue to disadvantage LEP students who are increasingly coming from diverse linguistic and cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds
- LEP students fared worse than their English-proficient peers in terms of engagement levels at school (i.e. attendance, participation, extracurriculars)
A Legislative Solution
Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez (House Bill #1065)
Sen. Sal DiDomenico (Senate Bill #197)
Enhance the opportunities for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students in Massachusetts' public schools by developing oral comprehension, speaking, reading and writing of English, while also meeting academic standards under the State's curriculum framework.
How will the bill work?
- Require districts with significant LEP students (20 or more in any one language group) to offer more than basic ESOL
- Give school districts the flexibility of which English language programs to offer
- Require annual student evaluation creation of individualized success plans and program extension as necessary
- Strengthens qualification requirements of ESL teachers
- Parental involvement via visits, conferences, committees, parents choice of enrollment in English Language Learner (ELL) programs
Increased variety of ELL programs and parental input will enable the students to participate effectively in regular or advanced educational extracurricular programs.
How you can help:
Contact legislators now:
Press clips from State House hearing:
Legislation aims to help ESL students
Lawmakers urged to rethink English immersion law
Bilingual education bills pushed
Gaston Institute - UMass Boston
Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy