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English Learners from Puerto Rico Counted in Proposed Amendment to ESEA

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On October 31, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced Senate Bill 2761, the Ensuring Linguisting Excellence and Vocational Aptitude by Teaching English Act, (aka the ELEVATE Act) with Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT). Specifically this legislation will correct a flawed funding formula the U.S. Department of Education uses to allocate funds to states by fully capturing the number of K-12 students who relocate to the mainland from Puerto Rico. This bill would allow Puerto Rican students to be fully counted in the annual grant allocation that states receive under the English Language Acquisition grant program. Correcting this flaw will be especially helpful to states like Connecticut and Florida, which have large and growing Puerto Rican populations.

This will be done by upgrading the current wording of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 to read as “immigrant children and youth and migrants from Puerto Rico.” The law would seek to go into effect October 1, 2021.

The ELEVATE Act, a.k.a. the Ensuring Linguistic Excellence and Vocational Aptitude by Teaching English Act

What it does:

Upgrades the funding formula to ensure students who have relocated from Puerto Rico are fully counted as English Language Learners for educational grant purposes.

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