For the past eight years we have worked closely with Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Instruction and have accomplished so much for English Learners and biliteracy for all students in California. We are thrilled to now have the opportunity to work with a dedicated leader who has championed the fight for a quality and equitable education for all California students, Superintendent-elect Tony Thurmond. His election brings energy and a vision of bilingualism and biliteracy for all students in California.
As an Assembly Member, Tony authored AB 2514 creating grants to consortia of districts to initiate or expand dual immersion or developmental bilingual programs pre K – 12th grade. He supported the appropriation of $5 million for grants to increase the bilingual teacher pool and knows that this is just the beginning of what is needed to staff the expanding demand for bilingual teachers across California. We look forward to working closely with our new State Superintendent of Instruction and to move forward with a positive and progressive agenda for English Learners.
As one of his first appointments, we are very pleased that Lupita Cortez Alcalá will be returning to the California Department of Education as the Chief Deputy Superintendent, serving as the leader of all Divisions in the California Department of Education. Prior to her leaving the Department she served as the Deputy Superintendent Teaching and Learning Support Branch which included the Division of English Learner and Migrant Education. Under her leadership, she supported and led the development of the English Language Development Standards, the formation of a Division for English Learners and Migrant Education, supported the creation and implementation of the Seal of Biliteracy, the development of the English Language Arts/ English Language Development Framework and was a clear voice for bilingualism and biliteracy for all students.
Californians Together offers our services and support to these two great leaders. We look forward to working with them and continuing to promote high-quality programs and instruction for English Learners.