BERWYN, Ill. – Legislation to ensure the state of Illinois develops a blueprint to expand high-quality dual language programs in our public schools passed the Illinois Senate last week and now heads to Governor Pritzker’s desk. HB 3822, introduced by Rep. Abdelnasser Rashid (D-Bridgeview), passed the Illinois House of Representatives in March.
“As someone who grew up in a multilingual household, I understand that bilingualism is an incredibly enriching asset. This bill will help build a path to expand dual language programs, which improve academic achievement and enhance cultural preservation,” said Rep. Rashid.
The bill requires the state to develop a comprehensive report to support the development and expansion of dual language programs. This plan will include developing a strategic plan for scaling dual language programs, identifying funding opportunities, addressing the recruitment and retention of bilingual qualified teachers, and developing standards for measuring student progress in dual language programs.
“Dual language instruction can be transformative for a student, expanding their future career opportunities and strengthening their connection to their culture and develop a global view,” said Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) who is the lead Senate sponsor on this legislation. “Improving our dual language offerings will help young people become more well-rounded and have a better understanding of themselves and the world.”
The passage of this bill represents an important step forward for bilingual education in the state, which advocates say will ensure that schools will be better equipped to provide students with the skills they need to thrive in a diverse and interconnected economy. HB 3822 passed out of both the House and Senate and is on its way to Governor Pritzker’s desk.