HOUSE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Reported by House Committee On:
Title: An act relating to expanding dual language and bilingual instruction for early learners through secondary students.
Brief Description: Expanding dual language and bilingual instruction for early learners through secondary students.
Sponsors: Representatives Ortiz-Self, Walkinshaw, Bergquist, Moscoso, Hudgins, Pollet and Santos.
Education: 2/12/15, 2/17/15 [DP].
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 16 members: Representatives Santos, Chair; Ortiz-Self, Vice Chair; Reykdal, Vice Chair; Magendanz, Ranking Minority Member; Muri, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Stambaugh, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bergquist, Caldier, Fagan, Gregory, S. Hunt, Kilduff, Lytton, Orwall, Pollet and Springer.
Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 5 members: Representatives Griffey, Hargrove, Hayes, Klippert and McCaslin.
Staff: Megan Wargacki (786-7194).
Dual Language Programs.
A dual language program is an instructional model that provides content-based instruction to students in two languages, and the goal is for the students, over a number of years of participation in the program, to become proficient and literate in both languages, while also meeting high academic standards in all subject areas. These programs are often called Two-way Dual Language, One-way Dual Language, Partial Immersion, or Full Immersion programs. Typically, the programs begin at kindergarten or first grade and continue through elementary school, and, if possible, into middle school or high school.
A number of dual language programs currently exist in school districts throughout Washington including: Bellevue, Evergreen, Highline, Kennewick, Mt. Vernon, North Shore, Pasco, Seattle, Vancouver, Wenatchee, and Yakima. These programs offer instruction in Spanish, Japanese, or Mandarin Chinese.
Dual Language Teachers.
The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB), a 13-member board, establishes the policies and requirements for the preparation and certification of educators, including approval of endorsements. An endorsement is the subject area in which a certified educator is authorized to teach, along with designated grade levels for that area. There are 42 endorsements in Washington, not including a large number of career and technical education endorsements. In addition to subjects, such as Math, Science, English, and History, there are approved endorsements in Bilingual Education, and English Language Learner (ELLs), both for all grade levels. Between 2012 and 2014, the public and private teacher preparation programs produced 12 Bilingual Education Endorsements and 571 ELL Endorsements.
Early Achievers Program.
In 2007 the quality rating and improvement system for the early care and education system in Washington, called the Early Achievers program, was created. The Early Achievers program establishes a common set of expectations and standards that define, measure, and improve the quality of early learning and care settings. The Department of Early Learning (DEL) completed statewide implementation of the Early Achievers program in July 2013. As of December 2014, 2,266 licensed providers are participating in the program.
Summary of Bill:
The K-12 dual language expansion grant program is created to build and expand well-implemented, sustainable dual language programs and create state-level infrastructure dedicated to dual language instruction. The grant is provided to two established programs that agree to mentor two new programs, with funds provided for program expansion and implementation. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) must administer the grant program, including prioritizing grants to certain districts, and dedicate a staff member to provide technical assistance and support to dual language programs.
The dual language teacher pipeline scholarship program is created to build capacity for bilingual and dual language programming by developing a pipeline for dual language teachers, from early childhood to K-12 education. The PESB must administer the grant program, including prioritizing grants to candidates with a foreign degree or credential who are willing to work in programs awarded grants to expand dual language instruction, and dedicate a staff member to support the development of bilingual teachers.
The early learning bilingual and dual language grant program is created to:
provide the technical and financial support needed to increase bilingual and dual language instruction in early learning settings where there are a high number of ELLs; and
create a statewide strategy for increasing bilingual education among providers enrolled in the Early Achievers quality rating and improvement system.
The DEL must administer the grant program, including prioritizing grants to certain programs, and dedicate a staff members to work with nonprofit organizations. Funds must be provided to institute lead coaches at nonprofit organizations that will provide specialized training and consultation.
By November 1, 2017, the OSPI, the PESB, and the DEL must report to the Legislature on grants awarded, student outcome data, and in the case of scholarships, the number of scholarships funded and the demographic data on participants.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:
(In support) By 2005, 25 percent of public school students will be ELLs, in many districts this is already the case. We need more than 25 percent of educators to be endorsed in ELL. The state has less than 10 years to figure out how to educate a high number of ELL students. These students are not provided an appropriate education because they do not speak English. These students are often put into courses that are not academically appropriate just because they do not understand. Dual language programs are the best way to teach ELL students. Even native English speakers like dual language programs because they gain a global perspective. Research on the effectiveness of dual language programs shows, through many studies and meta-analysis, that dual language program instruction, done well, gives all students the benefits of being bilingual, including cultural connections. These programs are especially important for ELL students because teaching children to learn to read in their primary language first makes them better readers in English too. The same benefits are seen in mathematics. Getting the full benefit of a dual language program requires teaching in two languages through the later grades. Bilingual individuals experience about a $7,000 economic benefit because they speak a second language. There are states that are implementing these programs for economic purposes. Parents who speak other languages often want their kids to speak two languages. Even when the parents speak to their children in the parents' native language, many children prefer to read, write, and speak in English once they go to school. Dual language programs value diversity and languages. These programs benefit all students and make them more successful. Dual language programs surpass other methods of teaching ELLs. Dual language programs allow students to explore their own identity and the identity of others. These programs help to change the perspective of what matters and that ripples out into the community.
(In support with concerns) The Superintendent of Public Instruction is supportive of the policy of the bill. The state's first priority should be to fully fund the basic education opportunity for all students.
Persons Testifying: (In support) Representative Ortiz-Self, prime sponsor; Theresa Deussen, Education Northwest; Lisette Llerena; Raquel Ferrel-Crowley, Commission on Hispanic Affairs; and Bernard Koontz, Highline Public Schools.
(In support with concerns) Ken Kanikeberg, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.