In the Year Two Thousand and One.
SECTION 1. Section 1 of Chapter 71A of the General Laws, as appearing
in the 1996 Official Edition, as amended, is
hereby further amended by striking out the fourth paragraph and inserting the following:—
“Children of limited English-speaking ability”, children whose primary utilization of language is an a language other then
English and (1) whose comprehension and communication skills are substantially less in English than their native language
and (2) would perform classroom working their native language at a substantially higher level than in English.
SECTION 2. Section 1 of said Chapter 71A, is hereby further amended
by striking out the words “communicative skills in
English” in the fifth paragraph on line 14 and inserting in its place the following:— proficiency in written and oral English.
SECTION 3. Section 1 of said Chapter 71A, is hereby further amended
by striking out subparagraph 3 on lines 23-26, of the
sixth paragraph and inserting the following:—
(3) Students of limited English-speaking ability shall be taught using the same curriculum otherwise available to other
students of the same grade within the same school district. (4) A program is transitional bilingual education shall not be
offered to children of limited English-speaking ability entering school in kindergarten or first grade on or after the first day of
school, 1999. Said children shall be enrolled in either a structured immersion program or two-way language program.
SECTION 4. Section 1 of said Chapter 71A, is hereby further amended
by adding paragraphs seven and eight and inserting
“Structured immersion program”, a program wherein students of limited English-speaking ability are taught in English at a
level appropriate to their comprehension, and where the native language is used only when needed to clarify instruction.
“Two-way language program”, a program which enrolls approximately equal numbers of English proficient children and
children of limited English-speaking ability, which is intended to develop bilingualism in both groups of students; native
language skills of both groups are maintained and improved while the second language is being developed.
SECTION 5. The second paragraph of section 2 of said Chapter 71A, is
hereby amended by striking out all the words after
“private school system,” beginning on line 8, and inserting the following thereafter:—
Fifteen or more children of limited English-speaking ability in any such language classification in any one grade, the school
committee shall establish a program in transitional bilingual education, structured immersion or a two-way language program
for the children therein; provided, however, that a school committee, at their discretion, may establish such programs for
fewer than fifteen students. Two grades may be combined so far as the oldest student in the classroom is not more than three
years older than the youngest student in the classroom, and students are at approximately the same level in terms of academic
achievement and English proficiency.
SECTION 6. Section 2 of said Chapter 71A, is hereby further amended
by striking out the fifth paragraph and inserting in its
place thereof the following paragraph:—
A thorough diagnostic evaluation in oral comprehension, speaking, reading and writing of English, as well as the student’s
native language, as prescribed by the board, shall be administered annual to all children of limited English-speaking ability
being considered for, enrolled in or participating in a bilingual education program. The principal or superintendent may
transfer a student of limited English-speaking ability if it is determined, by comparing the scores of said diagnostic
evaluations, that the child’s ability to communicate and comprehend English is not considerably less developed than in the
student’s native language. Notice of removal shall be given in writing in English and in the child’s native language or, by
request of the parents or guardians, a language otherwise understood by the parents or guardians or the household of the
child. Such notice shall state that the parents have the right to request that their child remain in the program, granted the child
has not exhausted the three year duration of the program.
SECTION 7. Section 3 of said Chapter 71A, is hereby amended by striking
out the section, inclusive, and inserting in its
place the following:—
Before a school district may enroll a child of limited English-speaking ability in a bilingual program, the school district shall
give notice to the parents or guardians of said child. After such notice has been given, and before enrolling any child in a
program in bilingual education, the principal shall obtain the written consent of the parents or legal guardians to enroll the
child in transitional bilingual education program. If the parents of legal guardians are not capable of providing such informed
consent in writing, the principal shall designate, when necessary, an interpreter, other than a teacher, who shall met with the
parents or legal guardian, orally describe the educational options, and record the choice made by the parents or legal
guardians. If the parents or guardians fail to respond to said notices, fail to or refuse to make a decision regarding placement
in a bilingual education program, or are otherwise incapable of making a decision concerning the placement of their child in
a bilingual education program, the child shall not be placed in a bilingual program without the approval of the commissioner.
Whenever possible, such notice shall be given in writing in English and in the child’s home language or, by request of the
parents, a language otherwise understood by the parents or the household of the child. The notice shall contain a simple,
non-technical description of the purpose, method and content of the program and shall inform the parents that they have the
right to visit transitional bilingual education classes and to come to the school for a conference to discuss the nature of
transitional bilingual education. Furthermore, parents shall be notified that they have the right to withdraw their child at the
close of any semester or grading period.
SECTION 8. The first subsection of the second paragraph of section 6
of said Chapter 71A is hereby amended by striking,
“communicative skills in English” and inserting the following:— are proficient in written and oral English.
SECTION 9. Section 7 of said Chapter 71A is replaced and section 8 and
section 9 are renumbered as section 7 and section