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Of California’s over six million public school students, 1.1 million are English learners, and 200,000 of these students are long-term English learners (LTELs). They are ELs who have been in U.S. schools for six or more years without reaching nor progressing in the levels of English proficiency to be reclassified. Another 130,000 ELs are considered at risk of becoming LTELs.

Starting with the release of Reparable Harm in 2010, Californians Together’s LTEL research and policy work has created an urgency for the state and nation to focus on this group of English learners. Over the past decade, there have been four new laws passed with significant policy changes, a growing body of research, and an intentional focus within California’s education field to support LTELs in secondary schools and to prevent them in lower grades.

Over those ten years, the numbers and percentage of English learners (ELs) who are LTELs have decreased slightly over the past decade, but continuing this slow rate of change will leave far too many students behind. Californians Together report, Renewing Our Promise, is a call to action to use the information and policy gains of the last decade to accelerate improvement for these students.