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Hearing to Focus on California’s 1.4 Million English Learner Students and Impacts of Governor Brown’s Proposed ‘Weighted Student Formula’

SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — The Senate Select Committee on English Learners, Chaired by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) will hold a hearing on how the Governor’s proposed weighted student formula will impact California’s English Learners. The hearing will take place Monday, March 26, 2012, at 3 p.m. in Room 112 in the State Capitol. The hearing will be webcast live at the California Channel.

“We need to be thoughtful and forward thinking about how this new formula will affect English Learners. Will the new funding be monitored to guarantee accountability? How do we ensure that these funds will be used effectively to help English Learners gain proficiency and become career and college ready?” said Senator Alex Padilla. “We are talking about a quarter of all K-12 students. It is vital that we do everything we can to improve the academic success of English Learners,” said Senator Alex Padilla.

Who: Senator Alex Padilla and fellow members of the Senate Select Committee on English Learners (Agenda below)
What: Informational Hearing on California’s English Learner System – “Will the Weighted Student Formula Help English Learners?’
When: Monday, March 26, 2012, at 3 p.m.
Where: California State Capitol, Room 112.

Under a typical weighted student formula, additional funding is allocated for students with unique needs. These students can be identified as low income, English Learners and students with disabilities. Schools are provided base funding and additional funding based on the number of students with these unique needs. An English Learner is a student who was not born in the U.S. or whose native language is not English or has difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language.

The following statistics highlight the fact that California schools are not meeting the academic needs of these students:

* 10 percent of English Learners reach English proficiency
* 56 percent of English Learners graduate from High School
* 13 percent of English Learners go to college
* 85 percent of English Learner students come from families who live in poverty

Senator Padilla has introduced three bills to reform California’s English Learner system:

* SB 1109 would create a statewide master plan for English Learners
* SB 1108 would improve English Learners transition into the mainstream classroom
* SB 754 would focus attention on “Long Term English Learners” who have become stuck in the system

Senator Alex Padilla, 39, graduated from MIT with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He currently serves on the Board of MIT. He is Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and represents more than 900,000 residents of the 20th State Senate District which includes most of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

Select Committee on English Learners
INFORMATIONAL HEARING
Title
“Will the Weighted Student Formula Help English Learners?”

Monday, March 26, 2012
3:00pm., U/A of Session
State Capitol, Room 112

I. Welcome (10 min)

Ø Senator Alex Padilla, Chair

Ø Committee Members

II. Funding the Needs of English Language Learners (30 min)

Ø Nick Schweitzer, California Department of Finance

Ø Rachel Ehlers, Legislative Analyst’s Office

Ø Erin Gabel, California Department of Education

III. Accountability and Monitoring (45 min)

Ø Dr. Charles Weis, Superintendent at the Santa Clara County Office of Education

Ø Tara Kini, Public Advocates

Ø Carrie Hahnel, The Education Trust-West

Ø Carlos Manrique, Associate Superintendent, English Learner Curriculum (Retired)

Ø Karen Cadiero-Kaplan, and Erin Gabel, California Department of Education

IV. Meeting the Needs of English Learners (45 min)

Ø Martha Zaragoza-Diaz, California Association of Bilingual Educators

Ø Raquel Gomez, Families Improving Education

Ø Teresa Walter, San Diego Unified School District

Ø Karen Cadiero-Kaplan, and Erin Gabel, California Department of Education

V. Response to Discussion (10)

Ø Nick Schweitzer, California Department of Finance

Ø Rachel Ehlers, Legislative Analyst’s Office

VI. Public Comment.

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