Education for Multilingual Learners in NYS is in a Crisis

For decades, New York State has not dedicated the appropriate level of funding to Multilingual Learners (MLLs) needs.

And It Shows. 

In 2017, the dropout rate for MLLs was higher than the graduation rate. New York State's MLL performance and outcomes are a fraction of that of the non-MLL student population.  

The New York State Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department are trying to solve this crisis, and have created diverse plans to support our MLLs, including Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability. But these efforts are undermined by the lack of funding from the State’s Legislature and the Governor’s Office. 

New York State Leadership must act NOW to turn around this prejudicial lack of achievement. 

This is why the New York State Legislature MUST include funding for MLLs in the FY 2020 Executive Budget.

More CAN and SHOULD be done to ensure that MLLs across the state receive a quality education that PUTS them on the pathway to postsecondary success.

The State of MLLs in New York

The population of MLLs across New York State has grown nearly 20% over the last decade.

Yet, the number of certified Bilingual Education (BE) and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers has not grown accordingly in general and special education settings.

In fact, for over a quarter of century New York State is only one of two states that has had a consistent yearly shortage of certified bilingual teachers.

And, in some regions across the state, the one in five teachers teaching bilingual students are uncertified to do so.

This is unacceptable.

As a result of the lack of certified teachers and lack of resources, MLLs in New York State are not performing.  


Deprived of a chance to achieve their dreams.

And leaving New York State without a chance to grow from their talents and contributions to society.

New York State can and must do better by its MLL population.