LOOK Bill Summary

“An Act relative to Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK)” (HD2211/SD743), filed by Senator Sal DiDomenico and Representative Jeff Sanchez.

The LOOK bill updates MGL Ch 71A English Language Education in Public Schools to encompass the latest in academic research and best practices in public schools serving English language learners, allowing all districts to choose high quality alternate language acquisition programs based on the educational and linguistic needs of students, in addition to Sheltered English Immersion.

The bill also:

  • Encourages parent involvement by establishing parent advisory councils and providing a mechanism for parents to advocate as a group for a district to adopt a specific language acquisition program (including dual-language programs).
  • Directs districts to monitor FLEP and former FLEP students who have exited language acquisition programs.
  • Recognizes experienced educators in Language Acquisition Programs by requiring instruction by licensed ESL teachers, as well as directing DESE to establish an educator endorsement for teachers in dual-language programs, and an administrator pathway for directors of Language Acquisition Programs.
  • Removes provisions that discourages alternative language acquisition programs, including time limits, the restrictive waiver process, and liability for educators and districts.
  • Recognizes the value of bilingualism and biliteracy skills by establishing a state Seal of Biliteracy that districts can award to high school graduates who demonstrate proficiency in two or more languages.
  • Requires no major changes to existing programs or initiatives such as RETELL currently underway through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.