The Arizona School Administrators Association says the state’s school districts will need at least $300 million more to implement a 2006 law requiring a four-hour instructional period for English-language learners, according to this Associated Press story.
State officials dispute the figure, saying it is too high. But districts are getting ready to submit their cost estimates within the coming weeks. A survey by the association of 64 districts shows that the $56 million in state funding for the program will not meet the need for additional teachers, curriculum, and professional development, the story indicates.
State budget proposals do not include any additional funding.
Under a federal court ruling, however, the state is required to fund new instructional programs that have been approved for ELL students by this coming March or face fines.
It’s unclear how the state and districts will resolve their differences as they work to fulfill the demands of a ruling in a class-action lawsuit over the adequacy of school funding.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.