Bilingual-Ed. Law's Main Provisions

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Following is a summary, based on information from the National Clearinghouse on Bilingual Education, of the main provisions of the federal bilingual-education law. Amended by the Congress last year and signed into law by President Reagan on Oct. 19, 1984, the law will expire Sept. 30, 1988.

Financial Assistance (Part A). At least 60 percent of the total amount of funds must be set aside for financial aid for bilingual programs. At least 75 percent of this amount is reserved for transitional bilingual-education programs, and from 4 to 10 percent for alternative instructional methods; developmental programs are also funded under Part A.

Local education agencies, in conjunction with institutions of higher education or other agencies, may apply for funds for other bilingual programs for academic excellence; family English literacy; preschool, special education, and gifted and talented; and instructional materials.

Data Collection, Evaluation, and Research (Part B). State education agencies will receive grants for the annual "collection, aggregation, analysis, and publication" of data on their limited-English-proficient students.

sea's may also use grant money for planning, administration, and technical assistance to school districts.

This part also provides for compe-tition for contracts for research and development.

Training and Technical Assistance (Part C). Funding under Part C is to be used to support at least 16 technical-assistance and training centers. Part C funding is intended to provide preservice and inservice training, encourage innovation and reform, and finance fellowships for graduate students.

Program Administration (Part D). This part authorizes the establishment within the office of bilingual education and minority-languages affairs of a division "exclusively responsible" for data collection and dissemination, and it directs the Secretary of Education to issue two reports on the condition of bilingual education--one by Feb. 1, 1986, the other by Feb. 1, 1988.

This also authorizes and specifies the composition of the 20-member National Advisory and Coordinating Council for Bilingual Education.

The Congress authorized $176 million for bilingual programs for fiscal 1985 and unspecified sums for fiscal 1986 through fiscal 1988.

For the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, the Congress appears set to effectively freeze funding for bilingual programs at fiscal 1985 levels.

These are: Part A, $95.1 million; Part B, $10.6 million; Part C, $33.5 million. The set-aside for alternative instructional methods amounts to about $5.3 million.

Vol. 05, Issue 06

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