Text: S.1043 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (05/23/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1043


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 them to become proficient in English, access the academic content knowledge needed to meet State challenging academic content standards, and be prepared for postsecondary education and careers.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 23, 2013

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 them to become proficient in English, access the academic content knowledge needed to meet State challenging academic content standards, and be prepared for postsecondary education and careers.

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”.

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 2014 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 3111(c)(1)(C), by striking “3303” each place the term appears and inserting “3403”; and

(5) in section 3116(d)(1), by striking “3302” and inserting “3402”;

(6) by inserting after part B the following:

“PART CEnglish Learner Competitive Grants.

“SEC. 3301. Purpose.

“The purposes of this part are—

“(1) 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 achieving English language proficiency (as determined through the assessment described in section 1111(b)(7)), or both; and

“(2) to encourage successful strategies in providing coordinated literacy and parent engagement service models for low-literate limited English proficient parents of English learners.

“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 academic 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;

“(D) increasing the awareness and knowledge of the education system for parents of English learners;

“(E) improving the English language proficiency and literacy skills of parents served by the grant program; and

“(F) increasing the graduation rate, as defined in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(vi) and clarified in section 200.19(b)(1) of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, for English learners.

“(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 the academic content standards and student academic achievement standards required under section 1111(b)(1), to assist English learners in—

“(i) improving English language proficiency, academic achievement, and achievement in core academic subject 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 subparagraphs (A) through (D) of 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, or propose to use grant funds under this section, to—

“(A) implement evidence-based strategies, as determined by the Secretary, for activities described in subsection (f);

“(B) 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 achieving English language proficiency (as determined through the assessment described in section 1111(b)(7)), or both;

“(C) provide a continuum of literacy, parenting, and parent engagement services for low-literate limited English proficient parents of young English learners; or

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

“(2) form partnerships with entities to carry out activities under the grant; or

“(3) 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 the State challenging academic content standards under section 1111(b)(1) and to be ready for postsecondary education and careers, 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 for a grant awarded under this section 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;

“(5) increasing the graduation rate, as defined in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(vi) and clarified in section 200.19(b)(1) of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, for English learners;

“(6) increasing the awareness and knowledge of the education system for parents of English learners; and

“(7) improving the English language proficiency and literacy skills of parents of English learners.

“(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 challenging student academic achievement standards and academic content standards under section 1111(b)(1) to assist English learners in—

“(i) improving English language proficiency;

“(ii) improving preparation for postsecondary education and careers;

“(iii) improving the English language proficiency and literacy skills of their parents; and

“(iv) improving the knowledge and ability of their parents to navigate the education system.

“(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 and their parents.

“(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 their parents; 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 of 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;

“(C) are on track for postsecondary education and a career;

“(D) have parents who demonstrate improved English language or basic literacy skills;

“(E) have parents who increase their knowledge of the education system; and

“(F) have parents who increase their participation in their children’s education.

“(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 the State academic assessments under section 1111(b);

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

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

“(E) the percentage of parents of English learners who advance at least one educational functioning level in English language proficiency, based on the Department's National Reporting System of Adult Education, after a year of participating in a program supported under this part;

“(F) the percentage of parents of English learners who enter postsecondary education or job training after a year of participating in such program;

“(G) improvement, based on pre- and post- surveys, of the knowledge of the parents of English learners regarding the education system; or

“(H) improvement, based on instructor observation, of child and parent interactions and reports of parent engagement;

“(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’ means an individual who is limited English proficient, as defined in section 9101.”.