English Language Learners (ELLs) are a fast-growing segment of Connecticut’s public school population, yet state laws prevent these students from receiving the instruction and support they need to be successful in their new country. That was the perspective advanced at a forum sponsored by the state’s Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC) held at the State Capitol this week.
LPARC is calling for changes to the state’s laws governing bilingual education and members of the Connecticut General Assembly appear receptive to exploring those changes. Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey plans to convene a task force on ELLs to hear from experts on language acquisition, according to State Representative Juan Candelaria who spoke at the forum.
More than 30,000 public school students in the state are now ELLs, an increase of nearly 50 percent since 2001.
LPRAC — a nonpartisan policy agency within state government — has issued recommendations, including the following, to help close the achievement gap between ELLs and non-ELL students. Read more