SENATE 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 of March 11, 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: Passed House: 3/04/15, 64-34.
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 3/17/15.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION
Staff: Matthew Lemon (786-7405)
Background: A dual language program is an instructional model that provides content-based instruction to students in two languages where the goal is for students, over a number of years of participation, to become proficient and literate in both languages while also meeting high academic standards in all subject areas. These types of program models are also known as two-way dual language, one-way dual language, partial immersion, or full immersion programs. Typical programs begin in kindergarten or first grade and continue through elementary school, and, if possible, into middle and high school.
In 2014 a survey of districts in the state found that 24 districts have dual language programs at a combined 47 elementary, 13 middle, and six high schools. Most programs offer instruction in Spanish while other programs offer instruction in Japanese, Vietnamese, and/or Mandarin Chinese. An additional four districts reported that they will start a dual language program within the next two years.
The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is responsible for establishing policies and requirements for the preparation and certification of education professionals, including approval of endorsements. PESB has approved both bilingual education and English language learner endorsements for all grade levels. The public and private teacher preparation programs produced an average of 14.4 bilingual endorsements per year over the previous five school years, including two endorsements produced in 2013-14. Over the same period, the preparation programs produced an average of 326.8 English language learner endorsements, including 311 in 2013-14.
Summary of Bill: The K–12 dual language expansion grant program is created and the Superintendent of Public Instruction must administer the program. Subject to appropriations, no fewer than four grants must be awarded to pairs of schools districts in which each pair must have one district with an established dual language program with a plan for expansion and one district with a desire to implement a new dual language program. Districts with dual language programs that include programming for early learners must receive priority. The grant period is for two years and funds may be used for certain purposes.
The dual language teacher pipeline scholarship program is created. Subject to appropriations, PESB must award scholarships to K–12 teachers and teacher preparation program candidates wishing to pursue a bilingual education or English language learner endorsement.
If specific funding for this act is not provided by June 30, 2015, the act is null and void.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed. However, the bill is null and void unless funded in the budget.