SHB 1783

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 Passed House:

March 4, 2015

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: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Ortiz-Self, Walkinshaw, Bergquist, Moscoso, Hudgins, Pollet and Santos).

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Education: 2/12/15, 2/17/15 [DP];

Appropriations: 2/26/15, 2/27/15 [DPS].

Floor Activity:

Passed House: 3/4/15, 64-34.

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Creates two programs: (1) the K-12 Dual Language Expansion Grant Program, to be administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; and (2) the Dual Language Teacher Pipeline Scholarship Program, to be administered by the Professional Educator Standards Board.


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).


Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 23 members: Representatives Hunter, Chair; Ormsby, Vice Chair; Parker, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Wilcox, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Carlyle, Cody, Dunshee, Fagan, Hansen, Hudgins, S. Hunt, Jinkins, Kagi, Lytton, Magendanz, Pettigrew, Sawyer, Senn, Springer, Stokesbary, Sullivan, Tharinger and Walkinshaw.

Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 10 members: Representatives Chandler, Ranking Minority Member; Buys, Condotta, Dent, Haler, G. Hunt, MacEwen, Schmick, Taylor and Van Werven.

Staff: Jessica Harrell (786-7349).


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.

Summary of Substitute 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 four established programs that agree to mentor four 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 districts with dual language programming that includes programming for early learners. The grant period is for two years and funds must be used for certain purposes.

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. Subject to funds appropriated specifically for this purpose, the PESB must award scholarships to K-12 teachers and teacher preparation candidates wishing to pursue a bilingual education or ELL endorsement.

If specific funding for this act is not provided by June 30, 2015, the act is null and void.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed. However, the bill is null and void unless funded in the budget.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Education):

(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.

(Opposed) None.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Appropriations):

(In support) Dual language programs are the most successful programs for helping English Language Learner (ELL) students make adequate yearly progress.  The bill will help sustain our existing dual language programs and begin to expand them, as well as the number of dual language teachers.  The ELL students are smart and bright and they are being lost at a rapid rate.  Economically the state can't afford to lose them.

Kindergarteners today are more diverse today than ever before.  One in five will be ELLs by 2025.  Increasing the capacity of the early learning system to expand English skills is a proven strategy for closing the opportunity gap.  Aligning programs and practices across the education system helps build a bridge across the early learning and K-12 systems.  Dual language programs provide a huge return on the state's investment.  The biliterate teacher pipeline will help to eliminate one of the limiting factors in expanding the state's dual language programs.  Dual language programs are one of the most effective programs in closing the opportunity gap, but only 3 percent of the educational programs in the state is dual language.  Investing in dual language programs is an investment in an evidenced-based strategy that has the highest return on investment and is best situated to close the opportunity gap for English language learners.

(In support with concerns) Providing dual language learning opportunities is a good policy and the evidence seems to bear that out. This should be a basic education opportunity for these learners, rather than a grant program.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying (Education): (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 Testifying (Appropriations): (In support) Representative Ortiz-Self, prime sponsor; Jennifer Jennings Shaffer, Children's Alliance and Early Learning Action Alliance; Patricia Valdez-Zantek, Heritage University; and Roxana Norouzi, One America.

(In support with concerns) Ken Kanikeberg, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Education): None.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Appropriations): None.