Why the Race to Find Bilingual Teachers? Because in Some States, 1 in 5 Students Is an English Language Learner

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Media Outlet: The 74 Million

Amaya Garcia's recent reports on building a bilingual teaching workforce were cited in the 74 Million:

There is a persistent shortage of dual-language teachers as the number of English language learners in American schools continues to rise. While a number of districts have looked to the short-term solution of hiring from Spanish-speaking countries like Spain and Mexico, two new papers from New America highlight recommendations for how to incubate bilingual talent stateside.

Roughly 5 million K-12 students in the United States are classified as ELLs, specifically targeted for assistance in achieving English proficiency. That accounts for about 1 in every 10 American schoolchildren, the great majority of them children of Spanish-speaking immigrants. And although they are sometimes assumed to be clustered in states like California, Texas, and Florida, tens of thousands have also trekked to the Pacific Northwest.

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Amaya Garcia is a senior researcher in the Education Policy program at New America where she provides research and analysis on policies and programs related to dual language education, bilingual teacher preparation and early education.