New ESL Bill for Massachusetts

The Massachusetts legislature passed an ESL bill removing roadblocks for districts to provide a variety of language acquisition programs.

The conference committee language of the Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) bill was passed nearly unanimously on Wednesday, November 16, 2017.

The MTA is still analyzing the bill but the new language calls for:

  • Flexibility for districts to develop new and different programs for ESL students including, but not limited to, dual language programs, transitional bilingual education or locally-designed options.
  • Districts and schools to expand program and student outcome data reporting.
  • Additional credentials for educators who have expertise in providing instruction in language acquisition programs.
  • Districts to form a English learner parent advisory council to advise districts on language acquisition programs.

Behind the scenes, the Department of Elementary and Secondary EducationĀ Office of Language Acquisition and Academic AchievementĀ  staff have been updating guidance documents for districts to use in implement programs for students with limited and interrupted formal education (SLIFE) as well as dual language and transitional bilingual education programs.

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