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Press Releases / Announcements, News and Events | | CABE, Californians Together, California Department of Education, Advancement Project CA

Policymakers and Leading Advocates Applaud Gov. Newsom for Bill Signing that Places California First in the Nation in DLL Identification

Asm. Luz Rivas, SSPI Tony Thurmond, Early Edge CA, Advancement Project CA, CABE, and Californians Together celebrate the signing of their bill AB 1363 which supports Dual Language Learners

FRESNO, CA – Today, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley) joined Governor Gavin Newsom for a bill signing ceremony at Sunset Elementary School in Fresno as he signed her Assembly Bill (AB) 1363. California State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Tony Thurmond and leading multilingual education advocates Early Edge California, Advancement Project California, California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), and Californians Together celebrate the signing of AB 1363, as it takes the first steps in achieving the goals of the Governor’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care to identify and support Dual Language Learners (DLLs). With the Governor approving this critical legislation to uplift DLLs, California becomes the first state in the nation to create a uniform process that takes an asset-based approach to identifying these children in order to best support them. Governor Newsom is continuing to make good on his commitment to our youngest learners and supporting all children in California in having access to high-quality Early Learning experiences. 

AB 1363 takes the first critical step of capturing key data about DLLs in the California State Preschool Program. This data will help guide instruction and practice, build on DLLs’ linguistic skills and needs, and support early childhood educators and quality Early Learning.

Specifically, AB 1363 will require the SSPI to establish a uniform process for California State Preschool providers to identify the DLLs they enroll and serve, and will require providers to report key information about them. The information will support the ability of teachers, providers, and state policymakers to make informed decisions about resources and other important elements of preschool programs that could be leveraged to support the long-term academic success of DLLs, while nurturing and developing their early linguistic assets. 

“As a woman of color, I am proud to represent a district that is majority Latino and people of color. Over 60% of California’s students come from a home where English is not the primary language, and today we are taking decisive action to strengthen our bilingual students’ early learning opportunities. With the Governor’s signing of AB 1363, California leads the nation in education policy once more by becoming the first state to create a standardized process that identifies and supports K-12 dual language learners at an early age. I want to thank Governor Newsom for reaffirming California’s commitment to equity and inclusion in its public education system because every student deserves the chance to thrive within their unique learning environments,” said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley), author of AB 1363.

Bilingualism and biculturalism are hallmarks of a diverse and vibrant society as well as a school community. It is our job to design the systems and provide the resources and practices to support the academic success for our dual language learners while nurturing and developing their early linguistic assets. AB 1363 charts the path from the earliest changes so bilingual children can access the skills they need to be successful in a global economy,” said California’s SSPI Tony Thurmond.  

“California is a very diverse state, and we have taken the first step in identifying our large and growing population of Dual Language Learners. Our goal with this bill is to increase support for these children, with our ultimate vision being that every child in California gets the opportunity to become bilingual and biliterate. With the signing of this bill, California is leading the way in ensuring we are affirming and building on the assets that our diverse young children and families bring to our state,” said Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California. 

“We know that a child’s home language and culture are central to their healthy growth and development, and bilingualism supports academic achievement and provides essential skills for the global economy. We applaud Governor Newsom and the State Legislature for taking a critical step with AB 1363. This bill ensures we’re developing data systems in early childhood programs so that DLLs and our most vulnerable young children receive an equitable, high-quality education that sets them on a path to success,” said Vickie Ramos Harris, Director of Educational Equity for Advancement Project California. 

“Affirming the home language, culture, and family experiences of our dual language students is key to ensuring student success from the earliest point in their education. Research and practice shows us explicitly how effective biliteracy instructional programs are as they provide academic and literacy access in both English and the child’s primary language. Beginning this exciting journey to multilingualism for dual language learners in early education programs will provide increased opportunities for equity and access and will continue to strengthen the number of students in California who are both bilingual and biliterate. AB 1363 elevates the resources and systems needed to support students, their families, and the educational systems that are in place to serve them. With AB 1363, we are on the right path to truly impact biliteracy and multilingual success for preschool through university level students,” said Jan Gustafson-Corea, CEO of California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE). 

“This is a crucial first step in ensuring that Dual Language Learners begin their education with an assets-based system of support that values the diverse languages and cultures they offer. The signing of this bill signals the beginning of a pathway to Biliteracy that aligns with the state’s CA English Learner Roadmap. We’re proud to see California affirm its commitment to our children and families,” said Martha Hernandez, Executive Director of Californians Together

We thank Governor Newsom, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas for championing this bill, and the California Legislature for seeing the urgency in supporting this key population of our state’s young children when they need it most. With the pandemic causing so many DLLs to fall through the cracks of the education system, we must be vigilant in supporting them in all ways possible in their learning experiences. The new measures that AB 1363 takes will illuminate ways to improve DLLs’ academic and social outcomes while ensuring that they have the skills they need to be successful in a global economy. We look forward to working with the Governor, his Administration, and SSPI Thurmond to implement AB 1363 in the coming year. 

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Early Edge California is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to improving access to high-quality Early Learning experiences for all California children so they can have a strong foundation for future success.

Assemblywoman Luz Rivas proudly represents the 39th Assembly District, which includes the City of Los Angeles communities of Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Granada Hills, Mission Hills, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar, and the City of San Fernando.

SSPI Tony Thurmond is responsible for the largest public school system in the nation, with more than 6.3 million students and over 10,000 schools. Improving equity, access, and opportunity for all California’s public school students is his top priority. He has created and championed historic initiatives that are focused on closing the achievement gap for our state’s most vulnerable students and is dedicated to supporting educators in delivering an equitable education to all students.

Advancement Project California is a multi-racial, multi-generational racial justice organization with expertise in research, advocacy, and policy. We work with partners and communities to expand educational opportunities for California’s children, create healthy and safe neighborhoods, ensure communities of color have a voice in our democracy, strengthen movement-building, and shift public investments toward programs that benefit all Californians—not just the privileged few. 

California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) was founded in 1976 with a vision of Biliteracy, Multicultural Competency & Educational Equity for all students in California. CABE is one of the premier professional learning organizations for educators and parents of English Learner and bilingual/dual language students and programs Prek-16. CABE’s state and nationwide partners and chapters collaborate to advocate and create policy to promote equity and student achievement in celebration and support of their richly diverse cultural, racial, and linguistic backgrounds.

Californians Together is a statewide advocacy coalition of powerful organizations from all segments of the education community including teachers, administrators, board members, parents and civil rights non-profit groups. Our member organizations come together around the goal of better educating 1.1 million English Learners by improving California’s schools and promoting equitable educational policy.

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