California’s Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program to Expire June 30

A state program that has helped hundreds of teachers earn bilingual teaching credentials over the past three years is set to expire this month. Education advocates fear the program’s loss will exacerbate an existing shortage of educators with bilingual credentials and hurt the state’s goal of expanding student proficiency in multiple languages.

Eight county offices of education participated in the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program. According to the California Department of Education, between 2018 and April of this year, 353 teachers used the program to pursue bilingual credentials. Another 392 teachers with bilingual credentials also utilized the program.

Bilingual education advocates have been pushing for $5 million in the 2021-22 state budget to renew the program. It was absent from the placeholder budget passed by the Legislature on June 14.

“There’s only so far we can go with a 2030 vision if we don’t have teachers who can staff the classrooms,” Anya Hurwitz, executive director of Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL), told EdSource.

The Global California 2030 Initiative seeks to get half of all K-12 students enrolled in “programs that lead to proficiency in two or more languages” by 2030.