English Language Learner Education Under a Brown Administration
Approximately 25% of California K–12 students are English Language Learners. Despite our best efforts, less than 60% of ELLs are English proficient after 6 years. In addition, their achievement levels are well below their English proficient counterparts.
One of California Governor Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial goals is to reduce the messy number of categorical funding formulas and thus increase funding for English Language Learners and low income families. He would also like the State Board of Education to adopt instructional materials that provide intensive intervention and support for English Learners and to use existing federal funds to expand after-school and summer school programs to supplement English Learning programs.
Brown’s goals for ELL students are commendable. They are an important first step. Yet more resources are needed to ensure the educational success and the access to post-secondary education for ELLs; and there needs to be a mechanism to help policymakers figure out how to best spend these additional resources.