The California Department of Education has awarded Bilingual Teacher Professional Development grants – each in the amount of $625,000 – to four school districts and four county offices of education throughout the state.
The grants were awarded to the Anaheim Union High School District, Oak Grove School District, Patterson Joint Unified School District, Riverside Unified School District, and to the Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Luis Obispo county offices of education.
The funding is expected to increase the numbers of bilingual teachers by providing training to teams of teachers, principals, and instructional assistants. The program aims to increase the number of teachers who obtain a bilingual authorization. It also wants to help return to the classroom teachers who have bilingual authorization but are no longer teaching bilingual or multilingual classes.
The $5 million in grant money was added to the state budget to help alleviate a bilingual teacher shortage anticipated after the passage of Prop. 58, which repealed the English-only requirement of an initiative approved by voters in 1998 that required English learners to be taught in English immersion classrooms. Even before the grants were awarded, many districts and community colleges were adding bilingual professional development programs to meet the new demand.
Los Angeles Unified estimated in August that it employs more than 3,000 out-of-practice bilingual teachers, according to Hilda Maldonado, executive director of the district’s multilingual and multicultural education department.
More information about the grants and program requirements is here.