Thursday, November 30, 2023

California’s Bill to Combat Bilingual Teacher Shortage

Working to support bilingual students in one of the most multicultural states in the country, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1127, an act that 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 work 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 various languages ​​including: Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.

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Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes introduced AB 1127 to address California’s growing need for bilingual teachers of these languages.

“Bilingualism and multiculturalism bring tremendous value to our students and our broader communities,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who co-sponsored AB1127. “The bill will support schools by investing in bilingual programs in the teacher pipeline. It will offer more engagement opportunities for students and families and support for the expansion of dual language immersion programs in California .

Educational 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 need for bilingual education teachers and the current availability of qualified professionals, while also improving the quality of the curriculum. and teaching.

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The State Department of Education announced that it will fund the change by distributing grants to various local education agencies. This will include: school districts, charter schools, county offices of education and qualified independent educational agencies. Grant recipients are allowed to partner with community colleges, four-year institutions of higher education and those with a focus on English learner education.

Changes will be implemented consistently. Grant applicants must submit their eligibility documents by July 1st 2026 and a final report must be filed by January 1st 2030.

AB 1127 represents the dedication and commitment of the State of California to support 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 that English learners have the right to be taught in their native language.

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