Del. state officials talk English Language Learners at education hearing
DOVER, Del. – State officials met face to face with educators on Thursday to talk about the growing number of English Language Learners and low-income students in Delaware. That is because the state is desperately looking for ways to support this community.
“It’s a step in the right direction because English Learners currently lack behind to their counterparts, their peers that do speak English, and it’s important for English Learners that need the additional help,” said the Chair of the Delaware Hispanic Commission Javier Torrijos.
During the education hearing, the state’s Joint Finance Committee addressed this need along with Governor Carney’s Opportunity Funding Initiative announced earlier this year that support the population.
“This is extremely important so that the resources that are needed for the English Learners are available to them,” said Torrijos.
“Currently, there are no state funds that are directly associated to the English Learners,” said Torrijos.
According to Torrijos, there are not enough resources to keep up with these groups of students.
Meanwhile, state officials said there needs to be more research on what sort of resources these students actually need.
“You look at Georgetown and it has a tremendous English Learners population down there and most of them are comprised of Latinos and same in Wilmington, and so when you look at these populations you look at the growing needs that are there,” said Torrijos.
In order to better support the community, English Language Learners teachers also took to the stage at the hearing to let state officials know there is a huge need for resources not just for students, but also for educators.
“I care deeply about the English Learners and they’re such a huge portion of our population, over 10 percent of our student body K-12 are English Learners and they’re unfunded,” said Jacqueline Wager, an English Language Learners teacher.
Wager said teachers need more training and opportunities for certification to better support their students.
“So, getting funding to help support districts to better provide schools and teachers with training personnel and other things that may be needed is so critical,” said Wager.
Educators said they hope a decision will be made soon to give these students a brighter future in Delaware.