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Fluency Top Priority For ALL English-Language Learning Students


Sen. Roberson’s funding commitment is a good start, but it needs to go further

The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) commends Sen. Roberson for his commitment to prioritizing investment in English-language learner (ELL) fluency in Nevada. In NSEA’s recently finalized report, “By the Numbers, A review and analysis of Nevada’s Education System” prepared by Applied Analysis, ELL fluency significantly increases the probability of graduation and in return, provides long-term economic benefits for the ELL student, for the community and helps reduce dependence on social programs. NSEA’s report also concludes that an effective strategy aimed at getting ELL students fluent and ready to learn will provide the state a return on investment between $1.15 and $2.03 for every dollar invested in English-language proficiency.
 
Sen. Roberson’s funding commitment is a good start, but it short-changes the broader population of English-language learning students. Nevada schools have among the highest share of English-language learners in the country. There are as many as 145 different languages spoken by students in the Clark County School District alone. Additionally, the scope of ELL students includes English-speaking students who fall below the poverty line.
 
Encouraging English language fluency makes sense for our students and for Nevada. NSEA welcomes a serious discussion in the Legislature about dedicated funding and will continue to support policies that improve education in Nevada for all students.


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