The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Recommendations for Addressing the Needs of English Language Learners
Funding for education in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has two primary objectives: 1) to help stimulate national economic recovery by providing jobs and building infrastructure in the state and local educational systems, and 2) to improve educational outcomes for children, particularly those most in need. Accomplishing this second objective will also contribute to the nation’s longer-term health by building the human capital necessary for continued economic growth and democratic participation.
One thing is certain, however: if the new funds are used in the same old ways, this long-term objective will not be fully realized.
The purpose of this memo is to support the educational goals of the stimulus package by suggesting ways to use these funds to more effectively address the needs of a large, growing, and critically underserved population of the nation’s children: English language learners. The group making these recommendations consists of researchers with extensive experience in educating ELL students and a substantial understanding of the research on effective strategies for this population.These recommendations, directed to the U.S. Department of Education, states, districts, and advocates for English language learners, are based on background knowledge, experience, and sense of where opportunities for innovation may be found.