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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Fifty Education Groups Tell Congress: Reject the GOP Health Care Bill

Some fifty education groups are urging lawmakers to vote against the American Health Care Act, better known as the GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act. The reason? The bill, which is being pushed by both President Donald Trump and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., the speaker of the House, would make changes to the way that Medicaid is funded.  Schools receive about $4 billion a year from the program, or more than a quarter of what they current get in Title I money for disadvantaged students. That makes Medicaid the third largest federal program for K-12 schools. The dollars are generally used to help cover the cost of providing services to Medicaid eligible students in special education. That can mean anything from wheelchairs to speech therapy. Districts will need to make up for the cuts to Medicaid by either raising taxes, cutting services for general education students, or both, the groups who signed the letter contend. What's more, school districts may be forced to cut mental health services and lay-off employees (including school nurses), the groups write.

Teaching Language With Culture In California

Elementary school teacher Ron Morris of Riverside, California goes a step beyond to understand his students' backgrounds. It's one way Morris incorporates the culture of his students in the classroom.

School Grant Helps Refugee Families Integrate in Washington State

A grant program is helping refugee students travel the long emotional distance from their homes to integrate into schools and their communities in the United States. The Office of Refugee Resettlement distributes Refugee School Impact Grants to 38 states, including Washington, and helps students who recently have arrived in the country get on their feet.

After Tweens Encounter Racism at Robotics Competition, the Internet Banded to Fund Their Team

As a group of five Pleasant Run Elementary School students – Elijah Goodwin, 10; Angel Herrera-Sanchez, 9; Jose Verastegui, 10; Manuel Mendez, 9; and Devilyn Bolyard, 9 – participated at a recent robotics competition in Indiana, they could hear parents from other schools making disparaging comments about their team. Nevertheless, the team, known as the Pleasant Run PantherBots, advanced to the Vex IQ State Championship, coming in first place, and qualifying for the Vex IQ World Championship in April. A GoFundMe account supporting their participation exceeded its fundraising goal by $4000 and the school has now closed the campaign, encouraging others to donate money to other robotics teams.

ESSA Rules' Rollback Complicates States' Planning

Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump's administration recently put their own stamp on the Every Student Succeeds Actt by dismantling key elements of the previous administration's work. State school leaders say the moves won't significantly influence their approach to the law, but advocacy groups will be watching closely to see how the new, more flexible policy environment affects decisions about underperforming schools and disadvantaged students.

English-Language Learners: How Schools Can Drive or Derail Their Success

New research indicates that where English-language learners attend school can determine how quickly they are reclassified as English-proficient A Michigan State University research team found that schools in Texas—second only to California in total number of K-12 English-learners—vary widely in how they determine if students should be reclassified as English proficient, affecting their chances of success in school and beyond.

‘Your child is safe’: Schools Address Deportation Fears Among Immigrant Families

The schools superintendent in Harrisonburg, Va., was meeting parents this month when a mother broke down in tears, explaining that she was undocumented. What would the school do, she asked, if she became separated from her children? "I remember walking up to her and putting my arm on her shoulder and saying, 'Your child is safe at our school,'" said Scott Kizner, the city schools chief. But he also advised those at the meeting in the Shenandoah Valley that any parents worried about deportation "need to make plans."

Sixty-Four Woodburn Students Receive Seal of Biliteracy

Sixty-four Woodburn high school seniors received the State of Oregon Seal of Biliteracy in a recognition ceremony the evening of March 14. The seal recognizes the linguistic assets and academic skills of biliterate high school graduates, as well as provides colleges and employers with a consistent measure for bilingual proficiency.

Finding Refuge in Books: Nine Timely New Refugee Stories

Crossing borders and leaving family, home, and everything else behind is a reality for many children and teens. The following titles—from picture books to YA—explore the many dangers, factors, and effects that refugees and immigrants face every day. All of these titles are recently published or forthcoming in 2017.