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National Newcomer Network Releases New Policy Platform to Promote Equity and Opportunity for Newcomer Students Across the Country

New York – February, 21, 2024 – Today, the Century Foundation and Californians Together, partners in leading the National Newcomer Network, announced a new policy platform to help promote the opportunity and quality education that immigrant newcomer students across the country deserve. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are about 1 million recently-arrived immigrant students in U.S. schools—many who do not have the same access to educational opportunity as their U.S.-born peers. That’s why, in 2022, Next100 and Californians Together gathered educators, researchers, and advocates from across the country to pursue systemic solutions for newcomer education. This work produced a new coalition: the National Newcomer Network (NNN). Today, after over a year of organizing, NNN released a suite of federal and state policy recommendations that all schools, educators, and policymakers can implement to ensure that all newcomer students feel welcome and have the opportunity to thrive. 

“As a Latina, I was raised knowing that justice is a slow but collective effort in coalition with others. National Newcomer Network members are working to improve access and outcomes for immigrant students to ensure these improvements take place everywhere, by law,” said Alejandra Vázquez Baur, Fellow at the Century Foundation and Co-Founder and Director of the National Newcomer Network. “This platform is just the beginning: educational equity is the right of every single student in the country, and we are going to continue fighting for solutions until that is a reality.”

“Schools across the nation are welcoming immigrant newcomer students into their classrooms and communities. The National Newcomer Network is bringing together a diverse coalition of organizations and individuals who work directly with newcomers so that our collective knowledge and experiences can inform federal, state and local policy. This platform provides a roadmap to ensure that our nation’s policies and investments meet the needs of newcomer students.” – Xilonin Cruz-González, Deputy Director at Californians Together and Co-Founder of the National Newcomer Network.

NNN’s platform is organized into three priority sections: 1) Upholding Civil Rights and Providing Adequate Services; 2) Guaranteeing Effective Educator Preparation and Training; and 3) Transforming Funding and Accountability Systems for Newcomers. You can read NNN’s full suite of recommendations here. Some of the recommendations to policymakers are: 

  • Prioritizing the provision of wrap-around services for newcomers through federal legislation and earmarks in state and local budgets. These funds should create and/or strengthen newcomer case manager roles in districts in partnership with community-based organizations serving newly arrived students and families. 
  • Targeting funding to develop and improve statewide intake processes for linguistically and culturally diverse students, provide technical assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) to implement that guidance and to establish and adequately staff district welcome centers.

Prioritizing funding at the state level to ease enrollment policies will aid in safeguarding access to quality education for newcomer students from the moment they arrive.

  • Guaranteeing funding sources for schools to provide engaging, accessible, culturally and linguistically sustaining, and critically conscious instruction for recently immigrated youth aligned with the needs and goals of this population. 
  • Authorizing funding for federal pilot programs to develop and expand secondary school instructional models for newcomer students and those with limited or interrupted formal education.
  • Convening a working group led by the Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) to consider revision of the funding structure for Title III immigrant subgrants.


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