Harlem’s Espaillat, Scott, Grijalva Tout New GAO Report Detailing Support For English Learners And The Path Forward

June 17, 2024

Today, Representatives Adriano Espaillat and Raúl M. Grijalva, joined by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott.

They issued the following statement in response to the academic achievement report of English learners in the United States, entitled “K-12 Education: How States Identify English Learners, Including Those with Disabilities,” conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). 

“The percentage of English Language Learners (ELLs) in our classrooms continues to grow in communities around our nation, including in my district, and it remains critical that the policies we put forth in Congress are inclusive of ELL students, teachers, and their families,” said Rep. Espaillat . “I commend the GAO on this report detailing the achievement, progress, and path forward to ensure ELL students, especially those with disabilities, are afforded the opportunity to meet and exceed the proficiency standards required in English and other subjects along their educational trajectory and beyond.”

“The recent GAO report highlights the ongoing challenge of accurately identifying the educational needs of English learners, particularly those with disabilities. While progress has been made in 17 states across the country, much work remains to be done. It is imperative that all states continue to prioritize improvements in determining and addressing the unique needs of English learners, in particular those with learning disabilities or language impairments. Our commitment to equity and excellence demands nothing less,” Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott , House Committee on Education and the Workforce. 

“Growing up as an English learner (EL) in Arizona, I’ve witnessed the significant progress our nation has made to identify and provide critical educational services and resources for other ELs,” said Rep. Grijalva . “The GAO report provides insight on how the federal government can work with states to simplify and improve the process for EL outreach, including those with disabilities. This report will help Congressional and educational leaders make the right investments to empower EL communities and help ensure that no one falls through the cracks.”

Representative Espaillat is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and his congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the north-west Bronx. First elected to Congress in 2016, Representative Espaillat is serving his fourth term in Congress. Representative Espaillat currently serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities and serves as Ranking Member of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of the committee during the 118th Congress. He is also a member of the House Budget Committee and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where he serves in a leadership role as the Deputy Chair as well as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). Rep. Espaillat is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

Photo credit: Wiki.

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