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Historic Week for English Language Learning Students

Governor Signs Landmark Piece of Legislation

This week, Governor Ducey signed SB 1014, a historic piece of legislation to improve the quality of education for nearly 83,000 English Language Learners in Arizona.

This is a big deal. Reform was past due because far too many ELL students are falling behind in school.

We are so grateful to Senator Paul Boyer and Representative Michelle Udall for championing this piece of legislation. We also want to thank the overwhelming number of lawmakers who co-sponsored and/or voted in favor of helping our ELL students.

Despite the countless setbacks in previous legislative sessions, we never gave up on our students. Despite many people telling us that we couldn’t change a law that had been in place for over a decade, we continued to challenge the status quo. We kept meeting with legislative leaders to pass the common sense legislation we had extensively researched and drafted. We kept informing parents of the need for change and equipping them with the tools they needed to accomplish it. We kept sending out emails and asking folks to contact their lawmakers. Finally, it’s been signed into law.

This victory came for our students on Valentine’s Day and Arizona’s statehood birthday. We couldn’t have chosen a better signing day.

This legislation will change the lives of children all over the state by removing barriers and giving school leaders the flexibility and local control to teach our ELL students how they best see fit.

SB 1014’s passage is also a testament to the power of a grassroots movement. We wouldn’t have worked to pass this law if a local school board member hadn’t brought this issue to our family engagement team years ago.

We’d also like to thank all our partners who made this possible including: the Arizona Chamber Foundation, Arizona Charter School Association, Arizona Department of Education, Arizona Early Childhood Alliance, Arizona Education Association, Arizona School Administrators, Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona State Board of Education, Expect More Arizona, Greater Phoenix Educational Management Council, Helios Education Foundation, LUCHA Arizona, Mesa Unified School District, Roosevelt Elementary School District, Tucson Unified School District, and Valley of the Sun United Way. Without your feedback and support, this wouldn’t have been possible.

KTAR: Arizona bill would give teachers more control over English language classes

“This is a huge step for local control. It’s a huge step for our kiddos in the state who are struggling to learn English - who have been trapped in programs year after year that need an exit strategy, and they need to learn English.” - Rebecca Gau Executive Director

Arizona Republic: English instruction overhaul signed into law by Gov. Ducey

"That is a huge interruption in the school day. These kids are isolated. They’re not talking to native speakers." - Senator Paul Boyer

Key Dates


Statewide Call - What does the ELL bill mean for students?
Date:
Wednesday, February 20th
Time: 11:30 AM
Call-in number: 408-740-3766
Access code: 3954670125#

Stand for Children’s Day at the Capitol
Date: Thursday, March 21st
Time: 09:00 AM
Location: Arizona Capitol Rose Garden,
1700 W. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85007
To RSVP email: lhutcheson@stand.org


Quote from the field

“ School principals and teachers know what it takes for their students to succeed. This bill provides educators the flexibility they need to ensure the highest quality language, literacy, and academic outcomes for their students. "

- Governor Ducey speaking about ELL legislation he just signed

We hope you enjoyed this week’s In the Trenches. Today was a big week for our students, but the legislative session isn’t over. We’ll keep you posted on the latest from the Capitol and out in the field.

Warmly, Rebecca, Stacey, Martin, Liliana, Katherine, Blythe, and Georgina
The Stand for Children Arizona Team

Stand for Children is a non-profit education advocacy organization focused on ensuring all students receive a high quality, relevant education, especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under-tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language, or disability.

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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