Working to support bilingual students in one of the most multicultural states in the country, California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 1127, an act which amends section 52202 of the Education Code.
This legislation specifically focuses on enhancing the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program (BTPDP), and improving eligibility criteria for teachers seeking support in bilingual and multilingual learning environments.
Currently, California state law specifies that the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program works in conjunction with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
The scheme provides development services to education professionals who meet specific requirements. Under the amended act of AB 1127, the scope of eligibility for professional development services will be expanded for currently exempted professionals, in a range of languages including: Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.
Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes introduced AB 1127 to address California’s growing need for bilingual teachers in these languages.
“Bilingualism and multiculturalism bring incredible value to our students and our broader communities” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, whoc copsonsored AB1127. “The bill will support schools by investing in bilingual teacher pipeline programs. It will offer richer engagement opportunities for students and families and support for expanding dual language immersion programs in California.”
Education professional development services aim to support teachers with up-to-date knowledge and skills for their learning environments. By amending AB 1127 in particular, California aims to bridge a gap between the demand for bilingual education teachers and the current availability of qualified professionals, while also improving the quality of curricula and instruction.
The State Department of Education has announced that it will fund the amendment by the distribution of grants to various local educational agencies. These will include: school districts, charter schools, county education offices and eligible independent education agencies. Grant recipients are permitted to partner with community colleges, four year institutions of higher education and those with a focus on English learner education.
The changes will be implemented steadily. Grant applicants must submit their eligibility paperwork by July 1st 2026 and a final report must be filed by January 1st 2030.
AB 1127 represents the State of California’s dedication and commitment to supporting a multicultural and multilingual society. It continues to maintain and improve the quality of learning resources for bilingual and multilingual students and teachers, and most importantly ensures English learners are entitled to instruction in their native language.