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English Language Learners Bill Gains Momentum

(Stand for Children Arizona Government Affairs Director Stacey Morley testifies to the Arizona Senate Education Committee. You can watch her full testimony here.)

One step closer.

Passing a bill into law is a long and arduous process — but it’s worth fighting for when so much is on the line. That is the case with our ELL bill, House Bill 2435. This process hasn’t been easy. We’ve been working on this bill for over two years, but our kids are counting on us.

We are excited to let you know that this week HB 2435 passed unanimously out of the Senate Education Committee. Now it’s headed to the Senate floor for a vote. We hope Arizona’s State Senators will join us and see the need to help ELL students who are struggling to get ahead.

Quotes from the Capitol

"Students are in this ELL block for as long as they are an ELL student, and if they don’t gain proficiency as they move through the K-12 system they tend to lose access to academic content, so they fall further and further behind their grade-level peers, which leads to huge dropouts and low graduation rates for our ELL students.”
- Stacey Morley, Stand for Children Arizona

"We were told that the four hold block would mean inclusion. What we’re seeing is exclusion. We’re seeing students who aren’t learning English in a year or two years or sometimes multiple years. Meanwhile, they are missing out on content.”
- Rep. Paul Boyer, House Education Chair

Things you might have missed.

Stacey Morley, our government affairs director, was a podcast guest along with Lourdes Pena from Triadvocates and Leigh Jensen from the Arizona School Boards Association.

During the podcast, they discussed how HB 2435 impacts students and local districts. It’s a great in-depth conversation. You can listen to the podcast episode here.

Lisa Irish and AZEdNews did an excellent job creating this infographic that details how House Bill 2435 will give local districts the flexibility to adopt their own high-quality programs to teach children English faster. You can download the full infographic here.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s In The Trenches. We’re really excited about the momentum HB 2345 is gaining. We will keep you posted about any further developments. Please, if you have any questions let us know.

Warmly, Rebecca, Stacey, Luis, Martin, Melissa, Liliana and Mia
The Stand for Children Arizona Team

In order to fulfill our mission, Stand for Children, Inc., our 501(c)4 organization, performs all advocacy and lobbying activities while the Stand for Children Leadership Center, our 501(c)3 organization, manages our parent and family education and engagement programs as well as Stand’s public awareness campaigns.
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