Category Archives: Legislation

Call to Action: Senate Bill 5675

This from Michael Shapiro, Dual Language Washington Leadership Secretary

Dual Language Washington has endorsed Senate Bill 5675 entitled Expand Dual Language Programs and Bilingual Instruction to Improve Student Achievement and Close the Opportunity Gap. This important stepping stone which fosters growth of dual language education in Washington is currently in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Our goal is to get it out of committee for broader review and adoption. Members of the committee are listed below.

Please take a moment to email or call Senator Andy Hill and the rest of the Ways and Means Committee members or your legislator urging them to give 5675 a hearing and fully fund and pass the bill out of committee.  Anything you can do at this point will really help move the bill.

The committee members are:

Members Hill, Chair (R); Braun, Vice Chair (R); Dammeier, Vice Chair (R); Honeyford, Vice Chair, Capital Budget Chair (R); Hargrove; Keiser; Ranker; Bailey; Becker; Billig; Brown; Conway; Darneille; Hasegawa; Hewitt; Nelson; O’Ban; Padden; Parlette; Pedersen; Rolfes; Schoesler; Warnick

Thank you  in advance for all your support. We are really making some progress and it’s clear that dual language and bilingual education is gaining more traction in the legislature.

A sample letter is below:

Dear Legislator:

I encourage you to support Senate Bill 5675 entitled Expand Dual Language Programs and Bilingual Instruction to Improve Student Achievement and Close the Opportunity Gap. As research has repeatedly demonstrated, dual language education as a premier educational model to propel not only English Language Learners, but also all language learners to closing the achievement gap and propelling them beyond the achievement of monolingually schooled students. As an educator, I strongly endorse the growth of dual language programs given the reconstituted mainstream of Washington State and the necessity to enhance educational models to promote excellence for all of our students.

Please endorse Senate Bill 5675 which is currently being reviewed in the Senate Way and Means Committee.

Respectfully,

 

OSPI Announces iGrants for Dual Language Programs

“In the 2015 legislative session through ESSB 6052 Sec 501(36), state legislators made funds available to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to implement a K–12 dual language expansion grant program. The purpose of the grant program is to build and expand well-implemented, sustainable dual language programs as well as to create a state-level infrastructure dedicated to dual language instruction.

“Grants will be awarded to pairs of school districts for periods of two years. Grantees will include districts with the desire to implement new dual language programs. Mentor districts will receive grant funding to support the districts with new dual language programs with implementation and must have a plan for expanding their own dual language programs.

“Grant funds may be used for professional development, supplemental materials, training, administrative staffing of the program, site visits, recruiting bilingual teachers and instructional aides, program evaluation, and coaching.”

For details of the grant funding and application process, read the complete OSPI Bulletin.  The deadline for districts to submit the iGrant application is October 5, 2015.

Indiana Biliteracy bill and Dual-Language Program in Elementary Bill Passed

Dear language advocates in Indiana and the nation!

Glad to say that on April 14 at 12:03pm Biliteracy bill SB 267 passed in the House Floor 95-0 and is ready to be signed by the Indiana governor. A Certificate of Biliteracy and a notation on the students’ transcripts will be given to Indiana high school students. It has been 6 months of lobbying, testifying, and talking to different senators and representatives about the benefits of recognizing biliteracy in our state. But the time and wait valieron la pena!

To take advantage of the strength of the bill (that passed 50-0 in the senate), the dual-language immersion pilot program for elementary schools (House Bill 1635) was adhered to the bill and as a result it would be a state law too as soon as the Indiana governor signs the bill. 2 wins for language learning and bilingual education in Indiana!

Thanks to everyone in Indiana and other states that was part of the process! Special thanks to IFLTA President Gary Spurgin and IFLTA advocacy colleague Pamela Gemmer who were with me testifying before senators and representatives to convince them! Your support was essential to keep the dream alive after 3 attempts to pass the bill in the past.

We will join Illinois and Minnesota in the Midwest and the other 8 states in the nation with this recognition that we all advocate for.

The path doesn’t finish here since my dream and goal is to help my neighbor states and other states in the nation to get a biliteracy law.

This is something we do for our children and future generations!

I will always remember this historic moment in my life since today is my father’s birthday who always taught me to keep fighting for what I believe I could reach in life.

Have a great day and long live foreign languages!

Best,

Israel Fernando Herrera

AATSP Indiana Chapter President

IFLTA Advocacy Chair

CSC   Advocacy Committee member

Asociación Europea de Profesores de Español -US Representative

2015  Indiana Ambassador for the Network of Early Language Learning

2015  COMU Award for Outstanding Faculty

2014  Indiana Latino Educator of the Year

2014  FACET Award for Excellence in Teaching

Bill to Expand Dual Language and Bilingual Instruction

The Washington State Legislature is considering a new bill introduced on January 28, 2015: HB 1783: Expanding dual language and bilingual instruction for early learners through secondary students. The bill provides grants for new and existing programs to partner on expansion of Dual Language programs (with a focus on serving ELLs) and funding at OSPI to provide greater infrastructure support. To track the legislation and find out about hearing dates, visit http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1783&year=2015.

One America https://www.weareoneamerica.org, a non-profit dedicated to advancing the fundamental principles of democracy and justice at the local, state and national levels by building power within immigrant communities in collaboration with key allies, is providing outreach information about this bill, including an information sheet that you can download and print: https://www.weareoneamerica.org/sites/weareoneamerica.org/files/Dual%20Language%20Bilingual%20Instruction%20Fact%20Sheet%20v3.pdf

If you would like to contact the House Education Committee members about the bill, the easiest way is to send them emails via the Committee’s web page: http://leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/ED/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx. Or check out One America’s web page: Contact Your Lawmaker: http://weareoneamerica.org/contact-your-lawmaker.

Updates:

The following videos are now available:

The companion bill in the Senate is now available:
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5675&year=2015