Nearly 2.6 million California K-12 public school students (41.8%) bring a linguistic asset with them to school every day: living in homes where a language other than English is spoken. A majority of these students (1.4 million) demonstrate English proficiency during their school years. But students’ home language skills are often neglected at school and that means many do not receive the state biliteracy designation on their high school diplomas that could benefit students as they apply for higher education and employment opportunities.
California has a key advantage in meeting the increasing demand for a multi-lingual workforce: nearly 2.6 million K-12 public school students who live in homes where a language other than English is spoken. A majority of these students (1.4 million) have demonstrated English proficiency either when they started school or after being categorized as English learners. However, only a small share of these students have been able to demonstrate literacy in their home language — a sign that policymakers and education leaders are missing a key opportunity to leverage the language assets of the state’s students.
Every day, millions of California students come to school with an invaluable asset: living in homes where a language other than English is spoken. However, this asset is often squandered as many of these students do not become literate in their home language. Achieving biliteracy benefits the students who are proficient in more than one language, the schools and colleges they attend, and the communities where these bilingual Californians live and eventually work.
Many students from low-income households who are headed to California’s colleges know the reality: paying for their higher education will be a struggle. That’s why Competitive Cal Grants are among the critical ways to support educational opportunities for low-income students.
Ensuring college students graduate from California’s public universities in a timely manner is necessary for the state to satisfy student demand for higher education and to meet the state’s workforce needs. As previously discussed in our analyses, the high cost of college attendance and overcrowded degree programs make it difficult for many low-income students to graduate on time. One way students can graduate more quickly is to enroll in summer courses. However, » Read more about: Summer Financial Aid: A Tool for Boosting Low-Income Students’ Graduation Rates »