January 6, 2015

New Report: Requirements for English Language Learners in Several States

OLR Report 2014-R-0292 summarizes Connecticut and federal education requirements for public school students whose first language is not English (a.k.a. English language learners (ELLs)) and compares those with a sample of states with significant ELL populations.

Connecticut’s law requires eligible ELL students to receive up to 30 months of bilingual education if they are in a school with at least 20 students who speak the same non-English native language and need assistance learning English. Once the 30 months ends, the district must provide language transition support services to the students if they do not meet the English language mastery standard. These services could include English as a second language (ESL) programs, sheltered English programs, English immersion programs, tutoring and homework assistance, or other programs taught in English.

Like Connecticut, New York law requires bilingual education programs, but California and Massachusetts have each passed ballot measures that removed the bilingual education requirement. These two states instead require English immersion, another approach for ELL students.

Click here to read the full report.