Schools to get $1M for English-learners

San Francisco and Peninsula schools will receive more than $1 million this year to help students who are new to the English language gain fluency faster.

The grants are part of a $55.5 millionstatewide annual grant program aimed at helping new immigrant students, specifically those in grades 4 through 8, learn English so they don’t fall behind in schools. Grant recipients were announced Thursday by Jack O’Connell, state superintendent of public instruction.

While the San Francisco Unified School District received $530,700, the top grant-getters in San Mateo County were the Redwood City Elementary School District, with $143,600, and the San Mateo-Foster City School District, with $109,000. Schools receive $100 for each student who is not yet fluent, according to Gentle Blythe, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Unified School District.

“One in four California students is learning the English language and the achievement gap between them and our highest-scoring students is unacceptable,” O’Connell said in a written statement Thursday. “These grants will help our fastest-growing student population learn English and meet its full potential.”

In San Francisco, most of the money will be funneled to schools with the most English learners, including Everett and Francisco middle schools, Cesar Chavez Elementary School and the Mission and Chinese education centers. While $100 per student isn’t a significant amount of money, when it’s focused in this way, it can be used to hire additional teachers and staff, according to Blythe.

Much of the district’s English-language funding comes from its general fund, along with state Title 1 funds, which go to students from low-income families.

“California is 41st in education spending, so there are opportunities we can’t pursue,” Blythe said. But grants such as these can boost schools’ ability to provide individual and small-group instruction, train teachers and purchase materials.

In the San Mateo-Foster City School District, much of this grant money will help to pay for two newcomer academies, in which students receive intensive English training during their first year in America, according to Associate Superintendent Joan Rosas.

“We use this with other funding, and we’ve created some good programs,” Rosas said.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

Bay Area NewseducationLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA to resume ‘poverty tows’ amid calls to make temporary ban permanent

Fines and fees hurt low-income, homeless residents, but officials say they are a necessary tool

Diners eat in a Shared Spaces structure outside Sotto Mare restaurant in North Beach. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA director says Shared Spaces serves transit agency’s financial interest

$10.6 million price tag for program raises concerns among transit agency’s board members

A broad coalition of tenants and housing rights organizers rally at Stanley Mosk Courthouse to protest eviction orders issued against renters Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Federal judge strikes down CDC’s national moratorium on evictions

David Yaffe-Bellany, Noah Buhayar Los Angeles Times A federal judge in Washington… Continue reading

Most Read