Decades of neglect and inaction continues to plague federally funded schools for American Indian children, despite scathing watchdog reports and exhortations from tribal leaders and federal officials to repair and replace dilapidated facilities.
In January, leaders in 20 nonprofit organizations wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown, asking him to consider the importance of appointing a champion for ELLs, who constitute a quarter of the state's K-12 student population.
Schools on the nation's largest Indian reservation are responding to a string of teen suicides. Such clusters have occurred in communities around the country, experts say.
The bill would provide incentives to states and school districts to implement policies to significantly improve instruction for English-learners.
While districts can estimate how many new students they will be absorbing from the border crisis, many won't know the full scope of the resources they need until students show up.
A study comparing the cognitive growth of 2-year-olds found that more Mexican-American children demonstrated slow growth compared to their white peers.
Under the waiver, ELLs would take state tests but their scores would not count toward their school's overall performance until the students were proficient in English.
Biliteracy seal bills are under consideration in the Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia state legislatures. Several states with large English-language learner enrollment, including California, New York, and Texas, have already approved laws.
The school system entered into an agreement with the federal departments of Education and Justice in 2010 to avoid legal action after investigators found the school system denied thousands of ELLS an adequate education.
The goal is to "look at English learners as a national asset and investment in contrast to thinking of English learners as a problem or challenge coming to our school districts," said Libia Gil, the head of the department's office of English-language acquisition.