COVID-19 has created a new normal for students across the country, and English Learners (ELs) require innovative investments and support now more than ever. The following are preliminary recommendations for policymakers, community- and school-based leaders, and organizations focused on investments that will make a meaningful impact on the success of ELs in the months and years ahead. While not all ELs are Latino, more than 70 percent of ELs in Illinois are Spanish-speaking Latinos. Many Latinos begin their education as ELs.
Partner with community organizations. Collaborate with them to provide basic needs and wrap-around services to support vulnerable immigrant communities.
Plan for developmentally appropriate remote learning. It should cover digital and non-digital and should be responsive to language and cultural differences.
Prioritize family engagement. Whether virtually or in-person, be prepared to communicate with linguistically and culturally diverse communities.
Plan for technology access. Promote equitable online learning opportunities, especially for low-income immigrant communities.
Through advocacy and analysis, the Latino Policy Forum builds a foundation for equity, justice and economic prosperity for the Latino community. By catalyzing policy change, the Forum works to improve education outcomes, advocate for affordable housing, promote just immigration policies and strengthen community leadership.
The Education Team of the Latino Policy Forum envisions Latino children across the educational continuum have equitable educational opportunities.
Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro, PhD
Director of Education Policy and Research