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2013_04.02_Serving-English-Language-Learners_A-Toolkit-for-Public-Charter-Schools

Serving English Language Learners: A Toolkit for Public Charter Schools

Sunil Mansukhani and Francella Chinchilla

The growth of public charter schools has coincided with the rapid growth of English Language Learner (ELL) students. While the total public school population increased by three percent from the 2000-01 to 2009-10 school years, the number of ELL students increased by 27 percent. Demographic projections indicate ELL students will be an even larger percentage of the school-age population in the years to come. A complicated mix of federal and state laws govern the education of ELL students and can make understanding the legal requirements challenging. This toolkit breaks down key federal laws and policies and provides examples of state laws where appropriate. Notably, it also gives real world examples from public charter schools across the country and provides a basic framework for conceptualizing, implementing and monitoring an ELL instructional program.