Dual Language Grant Program.
In 2017 legislation was enacted to create the dual language (DL) grant program to grow capacity for high quality DL programs in school districts and in state-tribal compact schools. A DL 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. Typically, the programs begin at kindergarten or first grade and continue through elementary school.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) awarded grants on a competitive basis to establish a DL program or expand a recently established DL program. The program, which expired on July 1, 2020, was last funded for fiscal year 2021. In the 2020-21 school year, 104 dual language programs, in 10 languages, were offered in 102 public schools.
The 2017 legislation also directed the OSPI, within existing resources, to facilitate dual language learning cohorts for school districts and state-tribal compact schools establishing or expanding dual language programs. The OSPI must provide technical assistance and support to school districts and state-tribal compact schools implementing dual language programs.
Office of Native Education.
Legislation was enacted in 2011 that created the Office of Native Education (ONE) within the OSPI. To the extent funds are available, the ONE must conduct eight types of activities, for example: (1) provide assistance to school districts in meeting the educational needs of American Indian and Alaska Native (AN/AI) students; (2) facilitate the development and implementation of curricula and instructional materials in native languages, culture and history, and the concept of tribal sovereignty; (3) seek funds to develop and provide continued professional development for paraeducators, teachers, and principals serving AN/AI students; and (4) facilitate the inclusion of native language programs in school districts' curricula. The ONE also serves as a liaison between the OSPI and school districts, tribal governments, state-tribal compact schools, tribal schools, and Native families and communities.
Federally Recognized Tribes.
A federally recognized tribe is an AI/AN tribal entity that is recognized as having a government-to-government relationship with the United States, with the responsibilities, powers, limitations, and obligations attached to that designation. There are 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington. Federal recognition, which is granted by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, permits a tribe to receive funding and services from the federal government.
First Peoples' Language, Culture, and Oral Tribal Traditions Certificate.
Legislation enacted in 2007 established the first peoples' language, culture, and oral tribal traditions (tribal language/culture) teacher certification program to be implemented by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). A sovereign tribal government must certify to the OSPI that an individual has met the tribe's tribal language/culture teacher certification program, as well as set continuing education and certificate renewal requirements.
The holder of a tribal language/culture teacher certificate may work in a public school teaching tribal language, culture, and oral tribal traditions in the language/culture designated on the certificate. The holder of a tribal language/culture teacher certificate may not teach other subjects unless certificated as a teacher by the Professional Educator Standards Board.
Seal of Biliteracy for Student Diplomas.
Legislation enacted in 2014 established the state seal of biliteracy to recognize public high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more world languages in addition to English. School districts are encouraged to award the seal of biliteracy to graduating students who demonstrate proficiency in English by meeting state high school graduation requirements in English and proficiency in one or more world languages other than English. A student may demonstrate proficiency in another world language through multiple methods including nationally or internationally recognized language proficiency tests and competency-based world language credits. The term "world language other than English" includes American Sign Language and Native American languages.
Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program for English Language Learner Students.
Students who are English language learners receive supplemental instruction through the Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program (TBIP), which is part of the state's statutory program of basic education. Except where it is not practicable, the TBIP provides instruction in two languages; concepts and information are introduced in a student's primary language and reinforced in English. Teachers in the TBIP must hold a bilingual education endorsement or an English language learner (ELL) endorsement.
For each student enrolled in the TBIP, the state allocates funding to provide, on a statewide average, 4.7780 hours per week in extra instruction for students in grades kindergarten through six and 6.7780 hours per week in extra instruction for students in grades seven through 12, in a class size of 15 students. For each student who has exited the TBIP within the previous two years the state allocates funding to provide, on a statewide average, 3.0 hours per week in extra instruction, in a class size of 15 students.
Teacher Bilingual Education and English Language Learner Endorsements.
An endorsement is the subject area in which a certificated teacher is authorized to teach, along with designated grade levels for that area. Beginning September 1, 2019, teachers seeking to earn either of these endorsements must have a second endorsement that is not bilingual education, English language learner, special education, or traffic safety.
To earn a bilingual education endorsement, among other things candidates must demonstrate a high level of oral and written language proficiency in English through meeting state certification requirements and in an additional language of instruction as demonstrated by performance on a standardized assessment of language proficiency.
Paraeducator English Language Learner Certificate.
Paraeducators work under the supervision of teachers to provide various levels of support, including performing instructional duties, assisting with classroom management, and acting as translators. An ELL certificate is an optional credential a paraeducator working with students in ELL programs (such as the TBIP) may earn by completing 20 hours of professional development that meet specified ELL knowledge and skill competencies. The ELL paraeducator certificate expires after five years.
Dual Language Education Grants.
Subject to available funding, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) must award grants to school districts or state-tribal education compact schools to establish a dual language education program or to expand an established dual language education program. "Dual language education" means a prekindergarten through grade 12 instructional model in which students are taught subject matter in both English and a world language other than English. "Dual language education" includes heritage language education, which provides opportunities for students to learn the language and culture of their families and communities. For these purposes, a world language other than English must include American sign language and Native American languages.
The OSPI must identify criteria for awarding the grants, evaluate applicants, award grant money, and provide technical assistance and support. School districts must submit data to the OSPI identifying which students are enrolled in dual language education programs.
The statute directing the OSPI to facilitate dual language learning cohorts is repealed.
Tribal Language Education Supports, and Grants, and Convenings.
The OSPI must develop a program to support tribal language education. The Office of Native Education (ONE) must provide school districts and state-tribal education compact schools with guidance, technical assistance, and statewide leadership and support. "Tribal language education" means the revitalization of and instruction in tribal languages in public schools, developed in consultation with Washington's federally recognized tribes, and provided by a certificated teacher with a Washington state first peoples' language, culture, and oral tribal traditions endorsement.
Subject to available funding, the ONE must award grants to school districts to establish a tribal language education program or to expand an established tribal language education program. The ONE must identify criteria for awarding the grants, evaluate applicants, and award grant money.
The ONE must convene biannually up to 20 tribal language educators to develop and share best practices, resources, and knowledge.
Serving American Indian and Alaska Native Students.
The OSPI must convene a work group to develop the supports necessary to serve American Indian and Alaska Native (AN/AI) students identified as needing additional literacy supports. The work group must include representation from each federally recognized tribe within Washington and may include individuals with lived experience. The work group must, at a minimum, conduct tribal consultations, develop best practices, engage in professional learning, and develop curricula or resources.
Beginning with fiscal year 2025, the OSPI must provide school districts and state-tribal education compact schools with program guidance, technical assistance, and professional learning to serve AN/AI students with appropriate, culturally affirming literacy supports.
Seal of Biliteracy for Student Diplomas.
Beginning with the 2023-24 school year, school districts must award the seal of biliteracy to graduating high school students who meet OSPI's award criteria. The OSPI must provide students access to methods to demonstrate proficiency in less commonly taught or assessed languages at a cost that is not higher than that of assessing commonly taught or assessed languages.
Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program for English Language Learner Students.
It is specified that dual language education and tribal language education are the preferred transitional bilingual instruction program models. Beginning with the 2024-25 school year, the allocation for the TBIP must be weighted at 1.2 factor for each eligible and exited student enrolled in a dual language education program.
Multilingual Skill Bonuses for Certificated Instructional Staff and Paraeducators.
Beginning with the 2023-24 school year, certificated instructional staff in public schools who demonstrate multilingual skills and instructional knowledge through an approved endorsement must receive a stipend each year in which they maintain that endorsement. The stipend must be $5,000 in the 2023-24 school year, increased by inflation annually thereafter.
Beginning with the 2024-25 school year, paraeducators in public schools who demonstrate multilingual skills and instructional knowledge through an approved language assessment and an approved paraeducator subject matter certificate must receive a stipend each year in which they maintain that paraeducator subject matter certificate. The stipend must be $1,500 in the 2024-25 school year, increased by inflation annually thereafter.
These stipends are in addition to compensation received under a school district's salary schedule and must not be included in calculations of a school district's average salary and associated salary limitations. The OSPI may adopt rules to define the specific endorsement criteria required to receive these stipends.
Aligning Language Endorsements and Determining Language Assessments.
By September 1, 2023, the Professional Educator Standards Board must collaborate with the OSPI to align multilingual education and English language learner endorsement standards and determine language assessment requirements for multilingual teachers and paraeducators.