New legislation has paved the way to allow Massachusetts schools to teach English-language learners in their native language while they learn English. Gov. Charlie Baker signed the legislation that effectively overturns the state's 15-year-old law that eliminated bilingual education from most public schools.
The new law, passed by state lawmakers last week, aims to offer school systems and parents flexibility to choose programs that best suit the needs of their students. Massachusetts is the latest domino to fall in a push to repeal English-only immersion education laws. Last November, California voters repealed the state's English-only instruction law, allowing public schools across more power to operate bilingual and dual-language programs.
With the passage of the Massachusetts law, Arizona is now the only state with English-only immersion education mandates written into law, but the state offers schools more choices. Districts can cut the time some English-language learners spend in a mandatory, four-hour block of English-language instruction, depending on a student's grade level and English proficiency.
Read more: Education Week