Giving Compass’ Take:
• At Migration Policy Institute, Melissa Lazarín urges school districts to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on English Learners’ education.
• How does the pandemic make the inequities in English Learners’ education unavoidably clear? What are you doing to promote equity in education for non-English speakers and other students in marginalized communities?
The transition to remote learning, which began in March in many school districts across the United States, has not been seamless or even adequate for most families. But the challenge has proven even greater for families of English Learners (ELs) and immigrant students who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic’s effects. Well-known equity gaps due to language, income, and immigration status have come into greater focus and are at risk of widening in the months ahead, especially as states face budget shortfalls and consider cuts to education spending. Exacerbating the problem, the pandemic has triggered new or more serious economic and food insecurities that are likely contributing to disruptions in ELs’ home learning.
As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act, states and school districts are receiving roughly $13 billion to support elementary and secondary students through the initial impact of the pandemic. As they identify strategies and investments to support ELs through this stay-at-home period, states and districts would be wise to partner with immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations that have demonstrated experience in supporting EL students and their families.
Some experts estimate that students will lose 30 percent of their annual reading gains and up to 50 percent of their math gains due to the so-called COVID slide. Past research on the impact summer breaks have on academic learning would indicate that ELs are among those who are likely to be at the greatest disadvantage. How successful schools and educators will be in ensuring that educational gaps do not further widen for ELs will rely, in part, on the strength of schools’ partnerships with nonprofit organizations that have existing relationships and supports for immigrant students and their families.
Read the full article about English learners’ education by Melissa Lazarín at Migration Policy Institute.
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