April 2, 2019
Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell
Chair, Committee on Education
Legislative Office Building
1020 N Street, Room 159
Sacramento, California 95814
 
RE: AB 1012 (Reyes) as amended on March 14, 2019 – SUPPORT
 
Dear Chair O’Donnell:
 
As classroom teachers and Teach Plus Policy Fellows, we are writing to express our support for AB 1012, which would make a range of investments in developing bilingual educators.
 
As teachers in schools throughout the state, we are privileged to witness the potential in all our students, particularly those for whom English is not their home language. These students bring social, cultural, and linguistic assets to our classrooms. Research has shown fluency in multiple languages benefits children and students by broadening their cognitive flexibility and enhancing their ability to learn. Giving children and students the opportunity to become bilingual confers great benefits on them as individuals in the workforce, as well as our state as a global economic competitor. The skill sets which accompany biliteracy and multi-cultural competency are incredibly important for a child’s development, and dramatically underdeveloped in California. These skills fuel our economy and strengthen our social cohesion, enriching the quality of life in communities throughout California. 
 
When California voters approved Proposition 58 in 2016, they demonstrated an understanding of the importance and benefits of learning multiple languages. Research has shown the long-term positive impacts on English Learners in well-implemented bilingual programs. However, well-implemented bilingual programs require well-prepared teachers. State lawmakers have made some initial investments in meeting the need for quality bilingual educators, like the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program. However, additional investments are essential to develop quality bilingual educators to meet the needs and opportunities presented by Proposition 58.
 
We are pleased to support AB 1012 and hope to continue to work with the author to ensure it can provide investments necessary to meet the needs of the state in developing quality bilingual educators. If you have any questions about our position, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our names and email addresses are below.
 
Sincerely,
Sarah Lillis
Executive Director, Teach Plus California
 
Katherine Blackburn
5th Grade Teacher
Manzanita Community School, Oakland Unified
2018-19 Teach Plus Fellow
 
Gwendolyn Delgado
7th and 8th grade History Teacher
La Mesa Junior High School, William Hart School District
2018-19 Teach Plus Fellow
 
Amelia Herrera, Ed.D.
English Language Development Teacher
Grace Davis High School, Modesto Unified
2018-19 Teach Plus Fellow
 
Paulina Martinez-Perez
6th grade Spanish Language Arts teacher
Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School, Chula Vista
2018-19 Teach Plus Fellow
 
Nikki Revell
11th and 12th Grade English Teacher
New Designs Charter School, University Park Campus
2018-2019 Teach Plus Fellow
 
CC: Members of the Assembly Education Committee
Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes