Thursday, June 07, 2018

Funding for English Learners -SCUSD Board Meeting Tonight

Sacramento City Unified District Board Meeting.  June 7, 2018.   6 PM. 5735  47th. Avenue.  The Serna Center
June 7, 2018
  SUBECT: LCAP UpdateBudget Hearing (2018/2019)

Dear Superintendent Aguilar:

On behalf of the Lorenzo Patiño League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) we urge you to include our recommendations in the budget of the Sacramento Unified School District for 2018/2019.   LULAC is a long-standing national and local civic organization dedicated to the advancement of civil rights, including the achievement of excellent educational opportunities for every child. 

Recommendation 1:   Promote school success of English learners by adding instructional time in English through direct instruction in small groups by skilled credential teachers.  To accomplish this, the District should include in your budget the addition of at least 10 bilingual instructors. 
The task that the District set out in the prior LCAP (2017/2018) was to provide professional learning service for teachers to implement English Standards and ELD Standards.  You held these in service sessions last year.  For 2018/2019, you propose staff support to monitor and coach teachers working with EL students.  You say you will implement the EL Master Plan in accordance with the CA ELA/ELD Framework and you say that staff will support schools’ monitoring of English Learner progress in ELD and in academic subjects. 
While setting this as your goal in LCAP is appropriate, in service and coaching  by itself will not significantly change the learning environment for ELL students.  Some teachers will improve from in service and some will improve from increased monitoring.   
To promote school success English learners in the district need more instructional time in English.  For a period of time – months- students at the emerging level and the expanding level  of English proficiency  should be grouped for dedicated ELD instruction in addition to their participation in the general curriculum.  These students  need intensive instruction at their appropriate language level.  Simply modifying language in a regular classroom (scaffolding) as described in the English Language Arts/ELD framework  is helpful but insufficient.   
Consistent with the ELA/ELD Framework, we recommend that students at an emerging and expanding levels of English proficiency should receive direct instruction in small groups from skilled credentialed teachers.  For students in grades 1-4   class size of 4-1 or 6- 1 would be optimal. This instruction should be at least 40 min. per day for at least 4 days a week.  In upper grades of 8- 12, students in the emerging and expanding levels of English proficiency could work well in a class size of 6-1.  Prior experiences with pull-out programs were too limited in time provided per day to be effective.  
To carry out this additional instruction, we support the Community Priorities Coalition’s proposed hiring of 10 bilingual resource teachers to work at school sites.  These teachers would be under the direction of the Multi-Lingual Office. Such a program would be monitored and evaluated by the Multi-Lingual Office. Should the district not adopt such a strategy, we encourage the Multi-Lingual Office to develop an alternative plan that would provide for an equivalent amount of time in direct, small group instruction using funds received from LCFF. 

Recommendation 2:  In addition to tracking English Learner Funds, ensure your accountability documents clearly show how the authorized funds, now reaching $6 Million, are being used primarily for those students.

Review of your budget documents reveals that you will be adding a code to track English Learner funds.  We are pleased to see the budget will provide the distinct internal code 0009 to track expenditures that serve Limited English Proficient students.  While we appreciate this responseto our recommendation, we believe this is only the beginning.  We will continue to monitor the use of LCFF funds for EL students and look for improved academic success.  We also strongly believe that these funds should not be used to support general administrative district functions.  LULAC’s goal is that the District achieves effective reclassification of English Learners by actually using the dedicated funds that should promote their achievement.  

Thank you for your consideration of our recommendations.  We urge inclusion.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding our request, please contact Dr. Duane Campbell, LULAC #2862 Education Committee Chair .  As you are aware, Dr. Campbell and other LULAC members have been working with District staff to achieve these objectives, and we expect to continue to urge you to take actions that we believe will be of great benefit the Latino community. 


Luisa Menchaca, President                              Dr. Duane Campbell, Chair
LULAC #2862                                                Education Committee, LULAC #2862

Trustees, Sacramento Unified School District Board 
Jessie Ryan,  President, Board of Education, Area 7
Darrel Woo, First Vice President, Board of Education, Area 6
Michael Minnah, 2ndVice President, Board of Education, Area 4
Jay Hansen, Board of Education Member, Area 1
Ellen Chocrane, Board of Education Member, Area 2
Christina Pritchett, Board of Education Member, Area 3
Mai Vang, Board of Education Member, Area 5
Sarah Nguyen, Student Board Member   

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