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 Reported by Senate Committee On:
Early Learning & K-12 Education, March 21, 2017
Title: An act relating to dual language in early learning and K-12 education.
Brief Description: Concerning dual language in early learning and K-12 education.
Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Ortiz-Self, Stambaugh, Santos, Orwall, Harris, Caldier, Springer, Appleton, Lytton, Condotta, Fey, Pollet, Goodman, Slatter, Bergquist, Macri, Doglio and Kagi).
Brief History: Passed House: 3/01/17, 64-34.
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 3/16/17, 3/21/17 [DP-WM].
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION
Majority Report: Do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.
Signed by Senators Zeiger, Chair; Fain, Vice Chair; Rolfes, Ranking Minority Member; Billig, Mullet and Warnick.
Staff: Alia Kennedy (786-7405) and Ailey Kato (786-7434)
Background: Dual Language Programs. A dual language program is an instructional model that provides content-based instruction to students in two languages, generally English and a target language other than English that is spoken in the local community. The goal of dual language programs 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.
The programs typically 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, Mount Vernon, North Shore, Pasco, Seattle, Vancouver, Wenatchee, and Yakima. These programs offer instruction in Spanish, Japanese, or Mandarin Chinese.
The 2015-17 operating budget appropriated $500,000 to OSPI to implement a K-12 Dual Language Expansion Grant program for the purposes of building and expanding well-implemented, sustainable dual language programs.
Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). This state-funded voluntary preschool program serves eligible three- and four-year old children. Children are eligible if they are from a low-income household, eligible for special education due to disability, or impacted by certain risk factors identified by DEL. Children from families with an annual income at or below 110 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $26,730 for a family of four, are eligible for enrollment in ECEAP. ECEAP providers can be public or private organizations, including, but not limited to, school districts, educational service districts, community and technical colleges, local governments, or nonprofit organizations. Current law requires that state funding continue to be phased in each year until full statewide implementation is achieved in the 2020-21 school year, at which time any eligible child must be entitled to be enrolled in the program.
Dual Language Educators. PESB 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 approximately 40 endorsements in Washington, as well as 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, both for all grade levels.
Summary of Bill: OSPI, PESB, and DEL are directed to develop and administer the following grant programs, respectively: the K-12 Dual Language Grant program, the Grow Your Own Bilingual Educator Grant program, and the Early Learning Dual Language Grant program. Each agency must identify criteria for awarding grants, evaluating applicants, and awarding grant money, and may adopt rules to implement the necessary provisions.
At the end of the two-year grant period, the grantees must work with the agencies to draft a report to the Legislature. By December 1, 2019, OSPI, PESB, and DEL must submit a combined report to the Legislature that details the successes, best practices, lessons learned, and outcomes of the grant programs, and the results of a third-party evaluation. The agencies must collaboratively select the third-party evaluator to determine how the early learning and K-12 education systems have met the goals of each grant program and expanded their capacities to support dual language models of instruction, including how many more children were educated in dual language classrooms as a result of the grants.
K-12 Dual Language Grant Program. This program is created to grow capacity for high quality dual language learning in common schools and state-tribal compact schools. The goal of this program is for students to eventually become proficient and literate in both languages, while also meeting high academic standards in all subject areas.
Programs typically begin at kindergarten or first grade and continue through at least elementary school. Two-way dual language programs begin with a balanced number of native and non-native speakers of the target language so that both groups of students serve in the role of language modeler and language learner at different times. One-way dual language programs serve only non-native English speakers.
By October 1, 2017, OSPI must award ten grants of up to $200,000 each to school districts or state-tribal compact schools interested in establishing a two-way dual language program or a one-way dual language program in a school with predominantly English language learners. School districts may also expand recently established two-way dual language program or a one-way dual language program in a school with predominantly English language learners. When awarding a grant to a school district or a state-tribal compact school proposing to establish a dual language program in a target language other than Spanish, OSPI must provide a bonus of up to $20,000. Minimum application requirements are established, including a description of how the program will serve the applicant's English language learner population, the applicant's plan for student enrollment and outreach to families who speak the target language, and the applicant's commitment to, and plan for, sustaining a dual language program beyond the grant period.
Grant money must be used for dual language program start-up and expansion costs, such as staff and teacher training, teacher recruitment, development and implementation of a dual language learning model and curriculum, and other costs identified in the application as key for start-up. The grant money may not be used for ongoing program costs. OSPI must notify school districts and state-tribal compact schools of the grant program and provide ample time for the application process. Within existing resources, OSPI must facilitate dual language learning cohorts for school districts and state-tribal compact schools establishing or expanding a dual language program, including technical assistance and support to the grant program grantees.
Grow Your Own Bilingual Educator Grant Program. This program is created to support and recruit a pipeline of teachers who are invested in their local communities, diversify the educator workforce, and fill the bilingual teacher shortage.
By September 1, 2017, PESB must award ten grants of up to $10,000 each to school districts or state-tribal compact schools interested in supporting and recruiting community members to become bilingual teachers. Minimum application requirements are established, including whether the applicant has the infrastructure to support bilingual education through a bilingual teacher pipeline.
Grant money must be used for a teacher advancement position within a school district, state-tribal compact school, or community-based organization, that provides recruitment, support, and coordination for the applicant's grow your own pipeline. PESB must coordinate with, and provide technical assistance to, school districts and state-tribal compact schools to develop Grow Your Own Bilingual Educator programs. PESB must encourage grantees to partner with community-based organizations that represent the local community.
Early Learning Dual Language Grant Program. This program is created to grow capacity for high quality dual language learning in the early childhood education and assistance program in order to better meet the needs of English language learner students. The goals of the program are to support bilingualism from an early age and expand the number of dual language early learning programs.
By September 1, 2017, DEL must award ten grants of up to $100,000 each to ECEAP contractors interested in establishing or converting to a dual language program. Minimum application requirements are established, including how the dual language early learning program will reflect the languages spoken in the classroom, the school, and the community; the contractor's dual language early learning program family engagement strategy; and the plan for student enrollment and outreach to families who speak the target language.
Grant money must be used to support a menu of professional development and capacity-building activities to be developed by DEL. Priority for the dual language trainings and supports must be given to the ECEAP contractors awarded grants.
DEL must work with community partners to support outreach and education for parents and families around the benefits of native language development and retention, as well as the benefits of dual language learning. Native language means the language normally used by an individual or, in the case of a child or youth, the language normally used by the parents or family of the child or youth. Within existing resources, DEL must create training and professional development resources on dual language learning, such as supporting English language learners, working in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, strategies for family engagement, and cultural responsiveness. DEL must also support dual language learning communities for teachers and coaches.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill comes from work completed by the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee, which found that ELL students need more support to help close the opportunity gap. The best practice for ELL students are dual language programs, which can enhance existing native language skills and allow ELL students to learn English at the same time. These programs also benefit native English-speaking students because they get to learn another language. Full immersion programs, which are common, are not a best practice because students are not able to learn other content areas because they are learning English. Dual language programs also encourage cross-cultural learning and cultural competency. Families can be more involved with their child's education if teachers speak the language spoken at home. In Washington, a small percentage of ELL students are in dual language programs, and there are many barriers to establishing these programs. The grant programs in this bill would help build and strengthen dual language programs. This bill will help build more early learning programs, which greatly benefits younger children's brain development. Dual language programs are a smart investment and a long-term workforce development strategy. Businesses are recruiting bilingual employees, and dual language programs will help students be more competitive for these jobs in the future.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self, Prime Sponsor; Sharon Cronin, citizen; Erik Mercado, student; Manuela Slye, parent; Bernard Koontz, Highline School District; Heather Byington, teacher; Emily Murphy, Children's Alliance and Early Learning Action Alliance; Mea Moore, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; Dominique Vijarro, Goddard College; Rosa Alvarez, student.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.