Bilingual Categorical Funds support 13 Bilingual/ESL Education
Technical Assistance Centers (BETACS) across the state.
provide critical help to schools struggling to educate students
speaking over 140 different languages, and help educate their
parents so they can help their children. School districts and
schools want these programs to continue. However, they have run
out of funding, and are starting to close them down,” said Pedro
Ruiz, president of the New York State Association for Bilingual
Education. “The BETAC in the Capital District, run by the Questar
BOCES, has given lay-off notices to their staff that are effective
September 30th and the BETAC in New York City have been working
since June without pay, but they too will be shutting down. We
need Governor Pataki and the Legislature to restore funding now,
before it is too late.”
are making progress in helping newcomer students who are not proficient
in English to meet the new standards. But without the Bilingual
Categorical Funds, the schools will not have to the tools to help
these students learn English and meet the standards,” said Cynthia
Wiseman, president of the New York State Teachers on English to
Speakers of Other Languages.
the Bilingual Categorical Funds are not restored immediately,
we will be creating an educational disaster for LEP/ELL students,”
warned McHugh. “Dropout rates are already at record levels for
these students. Over 30 per cent of ELLs in the Class of 2000
dropped out within four years in New York City, a fraction more
than those who manage to graduate. It is largely due to the programs
and services provided through the Bilingual Categorial Funds that
roughly 30 per cent graduated. Without these programs dropout
rates will skyrocket and graduation rates will plummet.”
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