AB 2514 Pupil Instruction: Dual Language Grant Program was moved to passed in the state Assembly. The bill has officially been moved to ‘enrolling’ status, meaning that it has passed and been signed by legislature, and only waits to be signed by the President. The grant program, called the Pathways to Success Grant Program, comes at the tail of Proposition 58, which was voted overwhelmingly at 73.5 percent of California voters, and calls for multilingual opportunities for all pupils and eliminates restrictions on instructing English learners and English-only classrooms. The grant program allows funding for these dual language schools that were made possible by Proposition 58.
The Pathways to Success Grant Program aims to provide students from preschool to high school developmental bilingual programs for English learners, dual language immersion programs, or early learning dual language programs that are consistent with the English Learner Roadmap
The purpose of the Pathways to Success Grant Program is to grow capacity for high-quality dual language learning by doing all of the following:
- Establishing dual language immersion programs or developmental bilingual programs for English learners for pupils in elementary and secondary schools.
- Establishing early learning dual language learners programs in state preschools operated by school districts and charter schools.
- Expanding existing dual language immersion programs or developmental bilingual programs for English learners to new school sites.
- Providing professional development modules to school districts, schools, county offices of education, or a consortium of these entities, with evidence-based, demonstrated professional development techniques on how to design and implement new, or to expand existing, dual language immersion programs or developmental bilingual programs for English learners and early learning dual language learners programs.
The Pathways to Success Grant Program will be a three-year grant program starting September 1, 2019. The department will grant a minimum of 10 one-time grants of up to $300,000 per grant for schools, districts and bilingual teacher programs.
Grant recipients will be allowed to use the grant for any of the following purposes:
- School administrator, teacher, and staff training specific to the implementation and maintenance of a dual language immersion program, developmental bilingual program for English learners, or early learning dual language learners program.
- Recruitment of bilingual preschool, elementary, and secondary school teachers and paraeducators.
- Professional development for teachers after the initial establishment of the program.
- Ongoing outreach to families of pupils, including strategies for family engagement.
- Establishment and support of language learning professional learning communities for teachers.
- Instructional coaches with demonstrated expertise and experience in implementing a dual language immersion program, developmental bilingual program for English learners, or early learning dual language learners program.
- Standards-based instructional materials in target languages for proposed dual language immersion programs, developmental bilingual programs for English learners, or early learning dual language learners programs.
The grant gives resources for multilingualism and biliteracy to make the dual language dream of Proposition 58 a reality. “As our state becomes more diverse, the need to teach dual language immersion programs increases,” Thurmond said. “Almost a quarter of our public school students are English Learners. Pupils that are enrolled in dual language programs have positive outcomes. They perform better academically, gain more confidence, and possess greater cultural awareness.” The California Association for Bilingual Education and Californians Together were the co-sponsors of this bill. The California School Boards Association, California Language Teachers Association, and the AVID Center are also in support of this bill.