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Letters | Sinking in English-only classrooms

Lawmakers should consider bill to ease gap for ELL students

I couldn’t agree more with Marcela Garcia’s May 21 op-ed “Sinking in an English-only classroom,” regarding the need to restore some elements of bilingual education. I hear often from families in my district whose children are struggling educationally because English is not their first language.

To address the inflexibility of the current English-immersion law, I once again filed a bill in the Senate that would play a critical role in decreasing the education achievement gap for English language learners. ELL students are among those most at risk of dropping out, and will undoubtedly be left behind as the issue persists and the gap widens.

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While there have been limited attempts to target this population, only about 20 percent of ELL students achieve true proficiency. This legislation would increase the flexibility of schools to use diverse research-based programs, increase parental involvement, and ultimately implement innovative and effective methods of improving English language skills for those students who need it.

It is vital for the success of our Commonwealth that all of our youth have access to equal education and that we do our part to provide the necessary support to ensure their success.

Sal DiDomenico

State senator

Democrat of Everett

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