Educating English Learners with Disabilities

California Department of Education (CDE) has released the much-anticipated “California Practitioners’ Guide for Educating English Learners with Disabilities.” The guide will help with identifying, assessing, supporting, and reclassifying English learners with disabilities.


“This resource will benefit the teachers and other professionals involved in the education of more than 220,000 identified English learner students with disabilities,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.


“In California, we serve all students. Identifying what each child needs and addressing those needs is essential so that all students can reach their full potential.”
The guide came about as a result of California Assembly Bill 2785 in 2016, which added “Education Code” 56305, requiring the CDE to develop guidance to local educational agencies on identifying English learners as individuals with exceptional needs, classifying individuals with exceptional needs as English learners, supporting pupils who are both English learners and individuals with exceptional needs, and determining when such pupils should be either removed from classification as English learners or exited from special education.


Developed under contract with WestEd to meet the needs of California, the 464-page guide was produced with the assistance of a broad coalition of organizations and individuals with decades of professional experience, so it should be relevant to educators nationwide.


To download the “California Practitioners’ Guide for Educating English Learners with Disabilities,” visit www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/ac/.

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