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Bilingual Teacher Shortage Addressed in Bill Introduced by Majority Leader Reyes

AB 1127 will revise and continue the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program (BTPDP).

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO)— Today, Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes introduced AB 1127 to address California’s growing need for bilingual teachers in languages such as Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog and Arabic. Majority Leader Reyes’s bill, cosponsored by California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, would revise and continue the BTPDP program, which successfully provided professional learning opportunities to school faculty and staff until its funding expired in June 2021.

“While California has a strong interest in the growth of bilingual and dual language immersion classroom programs, we are facing a significant shortage of teachers able to staff them,” said Reyes. “The legislation I introduced today would address this critical need by expanding the pool of bilingual teachers prepared to staff classrooms.”

“Bilingualism and multiculturalism bring incredible value to our students and our broader communities” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “The bill will support schools by investing in bilingual teacher pipeline programs. It will offer richer engagement opportunities for students and families and support for expanding dual language immersion programs in California.”

Referring to California’s severe bilingual teacher shortage, Jan Gustafson-Corea, CEO of bill sponsor California Association for Bilingual Education said, “This critical legislation will provide our state with a very important systemic tool to address this need while ensuring our diverse array of students receive the support they need in a language they understand.”

“We are proud co-sponsors of AB 1127’s BTPDP,” said Californians Together Executive Director Martha Hernandez. “We are excited to continue to address the bilingual teacher shortage by providing professional learning opportunities to increase the number of bilingual authorized teachers. The BTPDP approach has had positive results and allows for a “grow your own approach.”

Angélica Hurtado, Program Manager for San Bernardino County Superintendent of School’s Multilingual Education and Title III Support Office said “The BTPDP was a tremendous help to many of our teachers from the seven partner districts. The BTPDP helped teachers obtain their Bilingual Authorization, helped fill 37 Dual Language Immersion positions, helped 14 bilingual para educators start the pathway to becoming a bilingual teacher, and approximately 6,762 total professional development hours per teacher were provided in addition to the Bilingual Authorization classes. There is still a need for this type of funding. Some teachers who wanted to obtain their Bilingual Authorization through the BPTPD were not able to participate when it was sunset.”

The San Bernardino County Superintendent serves as the employer of record for nearly 2,000 employees. Thanks to the Office of the Superintendent’s participation in this program, students throughout the county would benefit from quality bilingual instruction if AB 1127 became law, as would thousands of other students throughout California.

Press contact: Jenn Hardy |