SB 897 English as Second Language

SB897 VOTE:NO
Died in Committee

INTRODUCED SB 897 Guarantees 7 years of spending for any English as a Second Language (ESL) student whether the student needs it or not.  Allows ESL funds to be spent on world language immersion programs. Allows Dept of Education to pull up to $50 million from the State School Fund for ESL and world language immersion programs.

Personal Choice
By drawing down the State School Fund by $50M, choices in school will be further limited. Only school districts will be able to avail themselves of this funding, so schools of choice will likely be cut out of the funds that would normally be available through the SSF.
Fiscal Responsiblity
In order to take advantage of this scheme, school districts only need to get a student started in ESL, then the district is guaranteed 7 years of payments for that student, even if the student moves or no longer needs ESL after a year. The money does not have to be spent on ESL. It can be spent on world language immersion, so English-speaking students can take classes taught in a foreign language. This bill encourages fiscal irresponsibility.
Limited Government
This bill encourages extravagance, committing $50M to language while funding for programs like “talented and gifted” languishes at $15M
Local Control
This bill forces more money to be funneled to language at the expense of other options local school districts may want to prioritize
Free Markets
By making the general school fund smaller, this bill regulates where money will be spent, to the tune of up to $50M per year. This may or may not match the priorities of a school district.