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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GOP Health-Care Bill Could Strip Public Schools of Billions for Special Education

School superintendents across the country are raising alarms about the possibility that Republican health care legislation would curtail billions of dollars in annual funding they count on to help students with disabilities and poor children. For the past three decades, Medicaid has helped pay for services and equipment that schools provide to special-education students, as well as school-based health screening and treatment for children from low-income families. Now, educators from rural red states to the blue coasts are warning that the GOP push to shrink Medicaid spending will strip schools of what a national superintendents association estimates at up to $4 billion per year.

New Academic Standards Applied Retroactively Will Keep More Immigrant Students in ESL Next Year

Hundreds of Baltimore-area immigrant students and many others statewide may need to repeat or take additional English language classes next school year after state education officials retroactively raised the standards for English proficiency. State officials say the change, implemented in May, was needed to ensure students are prepared academically, but the new standard means more students must remain in ESOL, or English as a second language, classes, creating a backlog in the pipeline for moving the students through the program. It also threatens to burden school systems with additional costs. Margot Harris, who heads the ESL program at Patterson High School, a school with a large immigrant population, said that although raising the standard may have been necessary, it was unfair for state officials to do so at the end of the school year, long after students had taken the test. Students who took the test believing they would be leaving the ESOL program, she said.

Stanford and California Charter Association Release Guide on How to Protect Undocumented Students and Parents

A new guide on how to protect undocumented parents and students in California’s public charter schools was released Thursday to address an increase in student anxiety and absences and a decline in parent participation in school activities in the wake of federal immigration policy changes. The 21-page guide called "Protecting Undocumented and Vulnerable Students" was created by Stanford Law School and the California Charter Schools Association in response to CCSA schools seeking guidance. The document provides schools with information about their legal obligations in providing education to undocumented students and actions that schools can take to fully protect the rights of these students and their families. And for undocumented immigrant families, it provides a guide to creating a school preparedness plan. According to CCSA, even though the guide was intended to support its charter school members to address those issues, it can also be a resource for school leaders of any public school in California and be made available for parents.

'The U.S. continues to welcome the most talented': Universities Respond to Supreme Court Action on Travel Ban

When President Trump announced in the winter that he would ban people from six mostly Muslim countries from entering the United States to protect national security, university leaders were some of the most outspoken opponents of the measure, warning it would hinder research and recruitment of the best talent in the world. On Monday, some university leaders welcomed a Supreme Court ruling that Trump also claimed as a victory. “While we are still reviewing the Court’s decision, the Court has rightly recognized that students, faculty, and lecturers from the designated countries have a bona fide relationship with an American entity and should not be barred from entering the United States,” Mary Sue Coleman, the president of the Association of American Universities, said in a statement Monday afternoon.

Some Multilingual Graduates Receive New Honor in Wisconsin

Students in two Wisconsin school districts recently became the first to receive a new badge of honor in Wisconsin. Roughly 100 students from Waukesha and Madison graduated in June with the state’s new Seal of Biliteracy, which recognizes students who have achieved proficiency in English and another language.

GOP Health Care Proposals: What Educators Should Know

The Trump administration and congressional Republicans are in the midst of trying to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — better known as "Obamacare" — with big implications for the nation's schools when it come to special education funding, teacher benefits, and more. So just how would the Senate bill — the "Better Care Reconciliation Act"—impact schools? How is it different from the ACA and the House bill in ways that might matter to educators? Advocates — and senators — were still combing through a 142-page Senate draft for details Thursday so stay tuned.  But, in the meantime, here is an initial list of things to watch for in the debate over a new health care law.

2017 Summer Reading for Kids: Diverse Stories for Young People

The Simon and Schuster imprint, Salaam Reads, was founded in 2016 to introduce readers to Muslim characters in children's books. Earlier this year, Salaam Reads published its first book, Amina's Voice, by Rockville, Md., author Hena Khan. How are children’s books becoming more representative of their readers? Kojo explores the approach to these stories with local book lovers and writers.

An Intergenerational Graduación

Ileana Najarro, a 2015 graduate of Stanford, is a business reporter at The Houston Chronicle. In this personal essay about Stanford's graduation ceremony for Latino students, she writes, "There was no more special way to honor (my parents) than by participating in Nuestra Graduación, the separate graduation ceremony for Latino students at Stanford, a tradition that was started in the 1970s… These ceremonies aren't held in place of official graduation ceremonies, but are an additional celebration of the work of students from marginalized communities. So often, students who come from backgrounds that aren't well represented at their college feel that they don't belong; or if they fit in, they may end up feeling distanced from the communities they came from. Alternative ceremonies are an acknowledgment of a community within the college — an opportunity to honor collective perseverance in the face of unique challenges."

Latino Families Face Barriers on Path to Autism Diagnosis

A new survey shows that serious obstacles impede Latino families' quest for autism diagnosis and treatment in the United States. Challenges include a lack of information about autism and a concern that consulting experts might bring them legal trouble. The findings may help explain why Latino children with autism are diagnosed later on average than non-Latino white children in the U.S.

Come for the Computers, Stay for the Books

Traci Chun, a teacher-librarian at Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington, is all done with shushing. "When my library is quiet, that's a red flag," said Chun. In fact, the busier it is, the better — whether it's kids experimenting with the Makey Makey circuitry or uploading designs to a 3D printer, or a class learning media literacy or a student seeking advice on a video she’s editing at one of the computer workstations.

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