Nearly one out of every ten Washington students are enrolled in transitional bilingual courses. And this number is only going to increase. Nationally, one out of four students will be multilingual by 2025.
According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, about half of Washington’s students enrolled in transitional bilingual classes are taught by non-certified staff, such as instructional aides. And only 14 percent of students receive instruction in their native language, a practice that is encouraged and deemed the best approach in helping ELL students transition to another language. ELL is the predominant instructional model used, largely because our state does not have an adequate supply of bilingual teachers.
In order to make sure that all kids have access to a world-class education, the League of Education Voters believes that school districts should encourage more teachers to be ELL-certified.