Florida Legislators Introduce Bill to Let English-Language Learners Test in Native Languages

Florida Legislators Introduce Bill to Let English-Language Learners Test in Native Languages

November 30, 2019

While the Every Student Succeeds Act requires states “to ‘make every effort’ to provide required exams in languages other than English if needed,” Florida’s Department of Education received an exemption in 2017 by arguing that English is Florida’s official language. Now, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers are seeking to overturn this exemption by introducing legislation that “would grant students the opportunity to take their required assessments in their native language if they lack full command of the English language.” Given there are “over 300,000 English Language Learners in Florida public schools,” such a move could have a dramatic impact on test scores and graduation rates across the state.