Proposed changes in the state’s bilingual education program – changes that worried immigrant populations in Southeastern Massachusetts – are dead on arrival at the legislature.
Lawmakers seem to be getting more serious about special education reform, but efforts to shake up bilingual education have failed.
The Education Committee announced that it has scheduled two hearings next month to air 31 special education bills, which have been on hold since early last year when legislative leaders decided to conduct a study.
The study is due at the end of this month.
Comprehensive reform bills will be aired on March 15, and specialized reform bills will come up on March 22.
While announcing that schedule, the Education Committee dumped dozens of bills into dead-end studies, including the hotly contested bilingual education reform bills.
There is really no consensus, either in the legislature or in the bilingual education community, as to what particular direction we would take, said Sen. Robert Antonioni, D-Leominster, Senate chair of the Education Committee. We have a limited timeframe and I think the chairs would like to focus on special education.
Sen. Guy Glodis, D-Worcester, recently caused a splash by filing a bilingual reform bill that would replace the current transitional system with a one-year rapid immersion model.