Arizona’s Senate Education Committee has approved Senate Bill 1014, which would provide schools with more flexibility for English Learner (EL) instruction. Currently, ELs spend four hours of every school day in Structured English Immersion instruction, but this bill would reduce the requirement for to provide evidence- and research-based models of structured English immersion to 120 minutes a day, 600 minutes a week or 360 hours per year to students in grades K-6 and 100 minutes a day, 500 minutes a week or 300 hours a year to students in grades 7-12.
The hope is that more flexibility in how they deliver instruction would help more ELs graduate high school on time. The EL student graduation rate in Arizona is currently about 20%—the lowest in the nation.
“The word I love is flexibility and the freedom for a district or a charter to be able to pick programs that might work better for their children,” said Senate Education Committee Chair Sen. Sylvia Allen, who voted to approve the bill. “I appreciate all the efforts that went into this bill and I think they are going to bring about really good results so I’m excited to see what we can do with it.”