From new legislative victories to continued success in serving students, 2023 was an incredibly important year for Californians Together. We are eager to build on these wins in 2024, but let’s take a look at all we accomplished as we close out 2023.
Californians Together pushed for four pieces of legislation that resulted in four new laws. These laws will create more equitable pathways for English learners to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy, provide guidance and data to enable educators to better support newcomers, ensure data use to identify and support dual language learners in early education, and provide much-needed funds to strengthen the bilingual teacher pipeline.
- AB 370 (Addis) Biliteracy Inclusion Act– Chaptered
- AB 714(McCarty) Newcomer bill – Chaptered
- AB 393 (Luz Rivas) Dual Language Learner (DLL) – Chaptered with a special recognition to Early Edge for leading us to victory.
- AB 1127 (Reyes) Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program (BTPDP) – Chaptered, with a special recognition to the California Association for Bilingual Education for leading us to victory.
- After more than 10 years working to modify the state accountability system for English learners, the Governor approved important elements in the State Budget to be addressed next year in the districts’ new three year LCAP including:
- Goals for student groups that score at the lowest performance for one or more indicators at Equity Multiplies schools.
- A requirement to have metrics to demonstrate narrowing the disparities of achievement and opportunity gaps between student groups.
- Long Term English Learners are now considered a numerically significant student group with a threshold of 15 LTELs and must be addressed in the LCAPs.
- Californians Together partnered with EdTrust—West and in collaboration with the Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL), and a broad based coalition to ensure that English learners’ needs were addressed in the new California Mathematics Framework. The adopted framework includes references to the ELA/ELD Framework, the ELD standards, scaffolds, and examples of strategies to support ELs. The framework also provides an added emphasis on family engagement and strategies, including a section titled “Role of Parents, Guardians, and Families” and Includes assessment considerations with strategies for authentic assessment and for English learners.
- We launched the 2023 District EL Administrator and Advocacy Network creating a strong and responsive network of district EL administrators to affect local policy across districts and to influence and refine state policy to best meet the needs and improve outcomes for English learners/multilingual learners.
- Central Valley Multilingual Consortium Policy Agenda
- Early Literacy Development and Instruction for Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Education by Socorro G. Herrera, Martha I. Martinez, Laurie Olsen, and Sonia Solter
- We published three EL RISE! Publications and released three videos detailing findings from three years of roadmap implementation—Bright Spots: Five Districts Move the English Learner Roadmap Forward, The Pivotal Role of County Offices of Education: A Sacramento County Office of Education Case Study, and Lessons Learned from EL RISE! View our EL Roadmap resources
Beyond these wins, Californians Together also hosted a number of webinars in which we educated the field on diverse topics, including a session on equity opportunities in the LCAP and best practices for serving newcomer students.
Californians Together also, notably, enlisted over 100 members and friends of our coalition to provide testimony in front of the legislature, the State Board of Education, Instructional Quality Commission, and other governing bodies. This support was incredibly valuable for ensuring the voices of English learners, and those who serve them, are heard by our state’s decision makers. Californians Together staff and coalition members were also placed on a number of statewide committees and commissions, including the Commission on Teacher Credentialing and Local Control Accountability Plan Template Committee.
We had the good fortune to celebrate these wins with over 300 advocates during our 25th Anniversary Gala. We hope to continue that celebratory energy and joy as we build for a strong future of advocacy. Here’s to an even more successful 2024!