Learn about the budget for Metro Schools' Office of English Learners.
ENGLISH LEARNER STRATEGIES
2016-17 BUDGET PROPOSAL -- VARIOUS ACCOUNTS
With 15 percent of students receiving direct English Learner (EL) services and 31 percent of families speaking a
language other than English at home, the need for teachers and quality programming are great. The Office of
English Learners is in year two of a three-year strategic plan for service improvement and restructuring to give
students more direct EL instruction. This year’s budget request includes increases across several departments to
better serve students. The majority would go to additional EL teachers, EL training for all teachers and
technology. The rest goes to programming, including after school and summer supports for students and families.
WHERE IT GOES
88 Teachers – Increasing the student-based budget weight for EL students from 10 to 21 percent to allow
more teachers to be hired to help meet rapid growth in English learners and bring EL teacher-student ratios
to 1:35. Lowering ratios would help the district meet state compliance, under the allowed maximum of 1:40
(one teacher serving 40 students across multiple classrooms).
12 Bilingual Tutors – This new program will serve students who have had interrupted education, often due
to refugee experiences. They will work in small groups to ensure students understand classroom content.
2 Registrars and 6 Part-time Assessors – Rather than requiring all non-English speaking families to
register at the district office, which often presents transportation issues, EL staff will work in school-based
enrollment centers with high EL needs to assess and register students.
Summer School and After-school Tutoring – Summer programs will serve 10 schools with 100 students
each. Funds will pay for 53 teachers, a coordinator, transportation and materials. This was piloted at five
schools last year. Tutoring will expand its reach from eight schools to 21, with 52 teachers serving 20 students
each for 36 weeks. Transportation and food are included.
Mentor and Model Classrooms – Following a recommendation from the Board, experienced and skilled
EL teachers will serve as mentors and instructional models for new teachers. Both will receive stipends.
Newcomer Academy at STEM Prep – To meet the challenges of serving beginning level and newcomer
students, the EL Department is partnering with STEM Prep charter school for an innovative new academy. It
will also serve as a model center for teachers and leaders to learn and observe best practices.
Family & Community Literacy Nights – Families, community partners and educators come together to
help families learn English and give more literacy opportunities to students. Locations determined by need.
Pay Raise for Parent Outreach Translators – Members of this team are as much advocates for new
American families as they are translators. Giving them a 10 percent pay increase will help the district stay
competitive with private companies.
Technology for Instruction – Schools would receive 3,500 laptops to help students use instructional
software that previously has proven successful.
Pay for Teachers to Attend Professional Development – All teachers teach or could teach English
Learners whether or not they are in dedicated EL classes. More professional learning will help all teachers
successfully reach EL students and help students better understand and retain what they are being taught. EL
teachers would receive $600 to attending 22.5 hours of training throughout the year, while general education
teachers would receive $400 for 15 hours of training.