Arizona Senator Working To Improve State English Language Learner Program

Published: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 12:50pm
Updated: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 1:10pm
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Arizona has one of the most restrictive English Language Learner (ELL) programs in the country. It was established in the early 2000s, after Arizona voters passed Prop 203, otherwise known as the “English Only” initiative.

For years since, educators and advocates have complained that the model doesn’t work, and it hurts the students it’s meant to help. In fact, the graduation rate for ELL students in Arizona lags far behind the rest of the country at just under 20 percent.

Last year in the state legislature, a bipartisan group of lawmakers attempted to change that, but their efforts didn’t make it to a final vote.

Then-Rep. Paul Boyer — a Phoenix Republican and teacher — was one of the lawmakers who spearheaded those efforts.

Now, he is state Sen. Boyer, and he’s at it again. His bill, Senate Bill 1014, unanimously passed out of the Senate Education Committee, and The Show spoke with him more about it.

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