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Education Policy

Ensuring Excellent Educational Opportunities for Emergent Bilingual Students

Emergent bilingual learners have the right to excellent schools that support English mastery and develop and honor students’ home languages and cultures.  

Strong programs for emergent bilingual students are well-funded, have high-quality teachers, and accurately track students’ progress and needs. 

Learn more about IDRA’s work to ensure excellent and equitable educational opportunities for emergent bilingual students below. 

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Emergent bilingual students are a significant – and growing – portion of the student population in school districts across the country. These students have so much to offer their schools and communities – they have the capacity to be bilingual and biliterate and to share their languages and cultures with their fellow students. Yet, they are often in underfunded school programs that do not support their academic achievement, with under-qualified teachers who are ill-equipped to track their progress.  

IDRA works to ensure emergent bilingual students are treated as the powerful individuals and community assets they are. We support the leadership of emergent bilingual students and their families in schoolsWe advocate policies that increase funding for language programs for emergent bilingual students, provide high-quality teachers and instructional materials, and accurately and fairly track student progress and learning needs.  

Learn more about IDRA’s policy recommendations for Texas.


Changing Policy

HB 1744 Helps Address the Three-Decades-Long Teacher Shortage in Bilingual Education – IDRA Testimony for House Bill 1744, Presented by Chloe Latham Sikes, Ph.D., to the Texas House Public Education Committee, April 20, 2021

Texas Must Create a Statewide Plan for Improving Bilingual Education – IDRA Testimony for HB 2258, Presented by Chloe Latham Sikes, Ph.D., to the Texas House Public Education Committee, April 20, 2021

SB 2066 Makes a Simple Change for a Big Impact to Emergent Bilingual Students – IDRA Testimony for SB 2066, Presented by Araceli García to the Senate Education Committee, April 15, 2021

Texas Must Create a Statewide Plan for Improving Bilingual Education – IDRA Testimony for SB 560, Presented by Chloe Latham Sikes, Ph.D., to the Senate Education Committee, April 12, 2021

Texas Bilingual Education Bills in 2021: Bilingual statewide flier. 

Texas Early Childhood English Learner Initiative 

Resources: Immigrant Students’ Rights to Attend Schools 

Testimony on English learner funding 

Testimony: Importance of Spending Guidance for English learner funds 

Testimony: Texas Must Seize the Opportunity to Improve Education for English Learners 

Acting on Research and Data 

High Quality Bilingual Education Programs Need More Support to Realize State Goals, IDRA Issue Brief by Chloe Latham Sikes, Ph.D., May 23, 2022

Creating a More Bilingual Texas, report by IDRA and Every Texan, March 2021

Dual Language Funding Issue Brief 

English Learner Funding Data Dashboard 

Infographic/Resources: Welcoming Immigrant Students to Schools 

Engaging Communities

TLEEC Letter to TX Governor re Supporting Immigrant Students 

National Coalition letter re increasing Title III funds 

Communicating Effectively 

Infographic: Celebrating Emergent Bilingual Students

Web page: Emergent Bilingual Terminology

Op-ed: Not aiding DACA students merciless 

For more resources, see IDRA’s English Language Learner Education site.