ELL News Headlines

Throughout the week, Colorín Colorado gathers news headlines related to English language learners from around the country. The ELL Headlines are posted Monday through Friday and are available for free!

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Los Angeles School District and Teachers' Union Reach 'Historic' Deal to End Strike

After nearly two years of a heated contract dispute that resulted in a massive teacher strike, the Los Angeles school district and teachers' union have reached a tentative agreement. The deal includes a 6 percent pay raise for teachers, class-size reductions that will take place over the next four years, and more school nurses, counselors, and librarians. The district has also agreed to create 30 community schools, which have wraparound social services for students, as well as a focus on the arts. The union has also formed a task force with the district to look for ways to create more green spaces on school grounds, and created an "immigrant defense fund" to protect immigrant students and families.

National Teacher of the Year Joins House Education Committee

The 2016 National Teacher of the Year has joined the House committee that oversees K-12 education. U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., has become a member of the House education committee — which Democrats have rechristened from the House Education and Workforce Committee to the House Education and Labor Committee — once the House Democratic Caucus approves recommendations for new committee assignments Tuesday.

Lack of School Nurses Puts Los Angeles Students at Risk, Striking Teachers Say

Los Angeles teacher Natali Escobedo says she will never forget the image of a diabetic fourth-grader "wilting" at her school because there was no nurse on hand to administer his insulin. The episode, which followed years of tight budgets that left little money for medical staff, highlights the potential impact of a lack of nurses throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the key reasons Escobedo and her colleagues are on strike. Like most schools in the more than 1,200-campus district, Lockwood Elementary, where Escobedo teaches, has a nurse just once a week. Children who become ill are left to the care of first-aid trained administrators or simply wait for a nurse to come from a nearby school to help them.

To Diversify Its Audience, Nevada's KUNR Goes Bilingual

A Nevada NPR station is aiming to strengthen its ties with an underserved community by taking the unusual approach of publishing local news in Spanish. Like most other public radio stations, KUNR once offered news only in English. But the contrast between its largely white audience and Reno's racially diverse population spurred KUNR to start experimenting with multilingual news in early 2017. Hispanics made up 24.6 percent of Reno’s population in July 2017, according to U.S. Census data, whereas only about 5 percent of KUNR’s weekly audience is Latino.

Reframing Refugee Children's Stories with Malala's New Book

In this review of Malala Yousafzai's new book, We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World, professor and author Fernanda Santos writes, "It is a stirring and timely book that strips the political baggage from the words 'migrant' and 'refugee,' telling the deeply personal stories of displacement and disruption that were lived by Yousafzai and nine other girls. Each of the girls we meet in these pages was pushed out of her homeland by violence. In the girls' own words, we hear about escape, resettlement and the conflicting emotions that come with fitting into a new place when so much is defined by where they came from. The accounts are intimate, and strike me as honest. At times, it felt as if the narrator were sharing her story with a trusted new friend."

Yemeni Student Who Fled Civil War Excels in Computer Programming While Learning English

Amal Qasem pulls up a mathematics app on her phone that she programmed then displays the computer coding that went into its creation – a sequence of data that resembles a line of colorful puzzle pieces linked together. Amal finished making her app – which earned a perfect score in her computer science elective class at Abraham Lincoln Middle School in Selma – days before her peers. Amal was at the top of her class in Yemen before fleeing civil war in her home country and coming to Selma in December 2017. She’s continuing to excel in the U.S. with help from teacher Efraín Tovar, who teaches her Newcomers and computer science class.

$60 Million Boost In Del. Education Funds Sought For English Learners, Low-Income Students

Poor students and those learning English in Delaware would get about $60 million in new educational resources over the next three years under a plan proposed Tuesday by Gov. John Carney. Carney said he proposed the measure, in large part, because Delaware is one of only a handful of states that doesn't target additional resources for kids who are poor and learning English. The American Civil Liberties Union is currently suing the state over its 80-year-old school funding formula, arguing that it deprives many children of their constitutional right to an adequate education.

Advocates, Senate Education Committee Support ELL Instruction Flexibility in Arizona

Education advocates spoke this week in support of Arizona Senate Bill 1014, which provides schools flexibility in instruction for English Language Learners, and the Senate Education Committee approved the bill with amendments. SB 1014 would provide schools more flexibility in how they deliver instruction to English Language Learner (ELL) students and that would help more ELL students graduate high school on time. The ELL student graduation rate in Arizona is currently about 20 percent – the lowest for these students in the entire nation.