S 1158

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 1158

To promote innovative practices for the education of English learners and to help States and local educational agencies with English learner populations build capacity to ensure that English learners receive high-quality instruction that enables English learners to become proficient in English and access the academic content knowledge that English learners need to meet State college and career ready academic content standards.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 8, 2011

Mr. BENNET introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To promote innovative practices for the education of English learners and to help States and local educational agencies with English learner populations build capacity to ensure that English learners receive high-quality instruction that enables English learners to become proficient in English and access the academic content knowledge that English learners need to meet State college and career ready academic content standards.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `English Learning and Innovation Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. ENGLISH LEARNER COMPETITIVE GRANTS.

    (a) In General- Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6801 et seq.) is amended--

      (1) in section 3001(a)--

        (A) in paragraph (1), by inserting `and part C' after `part B'; and

        (B) by adding at the end of the following:

      `(3) ENGLISH LEARNER COMPETITIVE GRANTS- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out part C, $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2012 and each of the 5 succeeding fiscal years.';

      (2) by redesignating part C as part D;

      (3) by redesignating sections 3301 through 3304 as sections 3401 through 3404, respectively;

      (4) in section 3116(d)(1), by striking `3302' and inserting `3402';

      (5) in section 3111(c)(1)(C), by striking `3303' each place the term appears and inserting `3403'; and

      (6) by inserting after part B the following:

`PART C--ENGLISH LEARNER COMPETITIVE GRANTS.

`SEC. 3301. PURPOSE.

    `The purpose of this part is to support eligible entities and eligible agencies in developing and strengthening innovative systems that support high-quality instruction for a diverse group of English learners, including English learners who have entered a school in the United States after elementary school or English learners who have been in schools in the United States for more than 5 years without reaching sufficient English proficiency to be reclassified, or both.

`SEC. 3302. INNOVATION GRANTS.

    `(a) Program Authorized- From amounts appropriated under section 3001(a)(3), the Secretary may award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities that have demonstrated progress in establishing and committing to provide high-quality instruction that results in the ability of English learners to achieve English language proficiency and to demonstrate content mastery in core or covered subjects to enable such eligible entities to carry out the activities described in subsection (f).

    `(b) Duration-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Grants awarded under this section shall be for a period of not more than 4 years.

      `(2) RENEWAL- The Secretary may renew a grant under this section for an additional 2-year period, if the eligible entity demonstrates success in--

        `(A) improving the English language proficiency of students served by the grant program, as measured by the assessment described in section 1111(b)(7);

        `(B) increasing the percentage of English learners who achieve proficiency on the State academic assessment in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science, as described in section 1111(b)(3);

        `(C) increasing the percentage of secondary school students who achieve proficiency in core academic subjects; and

        `(D) increasing the percentage of English learners who graduate from secondary school on-time, as defined in section 200.19(b)(1) of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations.

    `(c) Eligible Entity- The term `eligible entity' means--

      `(1) a State educational agency;

      `(2) a local educational agency; or

      `(3) a public charter school, or a charter school management organization.

    `(d) Applications-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- An eligible entity desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

      `(2) CONTENTS- At a minimum, the application described in paragraph (1) shall include the following:

        `(A) A description of how the eligible entity will use grant funds to implement English language proficiency standards and college and career ready standards to assist English learners in--

          `(i) improving English language proficiency, academic achievement, and achievement in core content areas; and

          `(ii) improving preparation for postsecondary education and careers.

        `(B) A description of the benchmarks, consistent with section 3304(b)(1), that the eligible entity will establish to demonstrate improvements in outcomes for students who are English learners.

        `(C) A description of how the eligible entity has used the metrics described in subsection (b)(2) and the benchmarks described in subparagraph (B) to create a data-driven needs assessment that the eligible entity will use to determine how grant funds will be used.

        `(D) A description of how the eligible entity will use Federal funds received under this section only to supplement the funds that would, in the absence of such Federal funds, be made available from non-Federal sources for the education of students participating in programs assisted under this section, and not to supplant such funds.

    `(e) Priority- In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall give priority to eligible entities that--

      `(1) use funds to implement evidence-based strategies, as determined by the Secretary;

      `(2) use funds to provide educational opportunities for English learners who have entered a school in the United States after elementary school or English learners who have been in schools in the United States for more than 5 years without reaching sufficient English proficiency to be reclassified, or both;

      `(3) serve populations of rural students and students who are migratory children, as defined in section 1309(2);

      `(4) form partnerships with entities that have the capacity to take efforts under the grant to scale; or

      `(5) work with an educational research entity that is, at the time of the application, implementing research-based programs or interventions in schools that serve a significant percentage of English learners.

    `(f) Use of Funds- Each eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall use the grant funds to carry out activities that lead to English learners becoming proficient in English in order to access the academic content knowledge that English learners need to meet State college and career ready academic content standards, which may include--

      `(1) improving instructional programs by--

        `(A) implementing evidence-based language instruction programs, including--

          `(i) technology-based programs; and

          `(ii) early childhood education programs, if applicable;

        `(B) consistent with State law, implementing a program that uses instruction in the native language as a basis for English language acquisition, such as--

          `(i) a dual-language program; or

          `(ii) a bilingual education program; or

        `(C) obtaining technical assistance from an expert to develop or implement materials for English learner instruction;

      `(2) ensuring that English learners are taught by effective teachers and attend schools that are administered by effective principals, by--

        `(A) developing or implementing a strategy to recruit effective teachers and principals;

        `(B) developing or implementing a strategy to retain effective teachers and principals; or

        `(C) developing or implementing a strategy to improve the effectiveness of teachers and principals;

      `(3) increasing the ability of families of English learners to be engaged in their child's education and development;

      `(4) expanding best practices to other schools or local educational agencies that are served by the eligible entity; or

      `(5) carrying out other activities consistent with the purpose of this part.

`SEC. 3303. CAPACITY BUILDING GRANTS.

    `(a) Capacity Building Grants-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- From amounts appropriated under section 3001(a)(3), the Secretary may award capacity-building grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible agencies that demonstrate a commitment to establishing and maintaining a system of high-quality instruction for English learners to enable such eligible agencies to carry out the activities described in subsection (g).

      `(2) LIMITATIONS- The Secretary shall not award a grant under this section to an eligible agency that has received a grant under section 3302.

    `(b) Duration-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Grants awarded under this section shall be for a period of not more than 4 years.

      `(2) RENEWAL- The Secretary shall not renew a grant under this section.

    `(c) Eligible Agency- The term `eligible agency' means a State educational agency or local educational agency that has experienced a significant increase, as determined by the Secretary, in the number of English learners that the State educational agency or local educational agency, respectively, serves.

    `(d) Funding Requirement- Continued funding after the second year of the grant period shall be contingent on the eligible agency's progress in--

      `(1) meeting the benchmarks described in subsection (e)(2)(B);

      `(2) improving the English language proficiency of students served by the grant program, as measured by the assessment described in section 1111(b)(7);

      `(3) increasing the percentage of English learners who achieve proficiency on State academic assessments in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science, as described in section 1111(b)(3);

      `(4) increasing the percentage of secondary school students who achieve proficiency in core academic subjects; and

      `(5) increasing the percentage of English learners who graduate from secondary school on-time, as defined in section 200.19(b)(1) of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations.

    `(e) Applications-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- An eligible agency desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

      `(2) CONTENTS- At a minimum, the application described in paragraph (1) shall include the following:

        `(A) A description of how the eligible entity will use grant funds to implement English language proficiency standards and college and career ready standards to assist English learners in--

          `(i) improving English language proficiency; and

          `(ii) improving preparation for postsecondary education and careers.

        `(B) A description of the benchmarks, consistent with section 3304(b), that the eligible agency will establish to demonstrate improvements in outcomes for students who are English learners.

        `(C) A description of how the eligible agency will efficiently use funds to build upon previous efforts to educate English learners.

        `(D) A description of how the eligible entity will use Federal funds received under this section only to supplement the funds that would, in the absence of such Federal funds, be made available from non-Federal sources for the education of students participating in programs assisted under this section, and not to supplant such funds.

    `(f) Priority- In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall give priority to eligible agencies that propose to use grant funds to implement evidence-based strategies, as determined by the Secretary, in order to become competitive in the application process for a grant described in section 3302.

    `(g) Use of Funds-

      `(1) REQUIRED USE OF FUNDS- An eligible agency that receives a grant under this section shall use the grant funds to carry out activities that--

        `(A) build the eligible agency's capacity to provide quality instruction to English learners; and

        `(B) will allow the eligible agency to become competitive in the application process for a grant described in section 3302.

      `(2) PERMISSIBLE USE OF FUNDS- An eligible agency that receives a grant under this section may use the grant funds to ensure that English learners are taught by effective teachers and attend schools that are administered by effective principals, by--

        `(A) developing or implementing a strategy to recruit effective teachers and principals;

        `(B) developing or implementing a strategy to retain effective teachers and principals; or

        `(C) developing or implementing a strategy to improve the effectiveness of teachers and principals.

`SEC. 3304. INDICATORS, EVALUATION, TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, AND RESEARCH.

    `(a) Indicators-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the Institute for Education Sciences, shall establish indicators to measure the success of grant programs under this part.

      `(2) PRIMARY INDICATOR- The primary indicator described in paragraph (1) shall be the percentage of students who--

        `(A) are English learners;

        `(B) become English language proficient; and

        `(C) are on track for postsecondary education and a career.

    `(b) Evaluation and Reports by the Eligible Entity- Each eligible entity and eligible agency receiving a grant under this part shall--

      `(1) develop quantifiable benchmarks to evaluate the activities that the eligible entity or eligible agency carries out under this part, based on the applicable indicators described in subsection (a), which may include--

        `(A) the percentage of students who are English learners who obtain English proficiency;

        `(B) the rate of participation of students who are English learners in State assessments;

        `(C) reduction in the percentage of students who are English learners who are in the bottom level of achievement on State assessments in reading, English, or language arts, and mathematics; or

        `(D) the percentage of students who are English learners and who are taking advanced coursework;

      `(2) submit the benchmarks described in paragraph (1) to the Secretary for approval; and

      `(3) prepare and submit an annual report to the Secretary on the progress that the eligible entity or eligible agency is making toward meeting such benchmarks.

    `(c) Technical Assistance- The Secretary shall reserve not more than 1 percent from amounts appropriated in section 3001(a)(3) to directly, or through grant or contract, provide technical assistance to eligible entities and eligible agencies to prepare the entities and agencies to qualify, apply for, and maintain grants under this part.

    `(d) Research and Evaluation- The Secretary shall reserve not more than 0.5 percent from amounts appropriated in section 3001(a)(3) to evaluate grants or provide technical assistance for activities funded under this part.

`SEC. 3305. DEFINITIONS.

    `In this part:

      `(1) DUAL LANGUAGE PROGRAM- The term `dual language program' means an instructional strategy for English learners--

        `(A) in which students are taught literacy and content in English and another language and use the other language for at least half of the instructional day; and

        `(B) that fosters bilingualism, biliteracy, enhanced awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, and high levels of academic achievement through instruction in 2 languages.

      `(2) ENGLISH LEARNER- The term `English learner' has the meaning given the term `limited English proficient' in section 9101.'.

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