Wednesday, March 25, 2009

State Education Mandates - Part 4

From time to time, particular around the budget period, reference is generally made to Franklin Public Schools having to support "unfunded mandates." I managed to find a listing of such compiled by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. This is Part 4 in the series:

McKinney-Vento and Costs Associated with Homeless and Transient Students

This component of No Child Left Behind requires that schools accept any homeless student who wishes to attend the public school. In addition, McKinney-Vento requires the school district to transport any homeless students living in town to the schools in their old home district.

Services to English Language Learners

Provides required ELL services to all students who are not fluent in English. Specially certified teachers must provide this service. There are educational materials and testing costs associated with the ELL services that are provided.
• All classroom teachers who service ELL students in their classrooms must have ten hours of training each year until they fulfill a requirement of 50 hours of training.
• All communications that need to be sent to the homes of all students (not just ELL) whose parents do not speak English as their first language must be translated into their native languages.

• ELL training is required even when only one (1) student in the district is an ELL student.

• Districts are required to provide Sheltered English Immersion services for students whose first language is not English. Districts are responsible for developing procedural manuals, forms, parent outreach, interpreters, and translation of documents. Districts are also required to provide Sheltered English Immersion training in Categories 1, 2, 3, and 4 for all staff who work with English Language Learners. All levels and types of services as provided for English-speaking students must be provided for ELL students in their primary language. Every student whose first language is not English is required to be assessed, to determine language proficiency upon registration and admission to the public school; stages of language acquisition need to be determined in order to identify the level of services required for each student. Students must also be supported by staff members in order for them to participate in Massachusetts English Language Acquisition – Oral (MELA-O) and Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment (MEPA) in reading and writing as well as the MCAS assessments.

The full listing is available here (DOC)

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