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On Wednesday, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced a bill that would create incentives for colleges and universities to operate teacher preparation programs tailored to serve English-language learners. The Reaching English Language Learners Act would create grants for higher education institutions under Title II of the Higher Education Act. Those grants would be used to produce teachers qualified to identify ELLs, help these students achieve English proficiency and boost their academic outcomes.

Ten percent of public school students face a language gap that puts them at risk of falling behind academically.

Ten percent of public school students in the United States are English learners. That means ten percent of public school students face a language gap that puts them at risk of falling behind academically,” said Cortez Masto in a statement. “I’ve introduced this bill to address the critical English language teacher shortage and help make sure that English learners have the resources they need to learn on equal footing with their peers.”

The bill is co-sponsored by eight Democrats in the Senate. Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) introduced its companion, H.R.4838, in the House earlier this year, with bipartisan support. Read the press release here.

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