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107th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 269

To ensure that immigrant students and their families receive the services the students and families need to successfully participate in elementary schools, secondary schools, and communities in the United States, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 7, 2001

Mr. CLELAND introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To ensure that immigrant students and their families receive the services the students and families need to successfully participate in elementary schools, secondary schools, and communities in the United States, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Immigrants to New Americans Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
      (1) In 1997, there were an estimated 25,800,000 foreign-born individuals residing in the United States. That number is the largest number of such foreign-born individuals in United States history and represents a 6,000,000, or 30 percent, increase over the 1990 census figure of 19,800,000 of such foreign-born individuals. The Bureau of the Census estimates that the recently arrived immigrant population (including the refugee population) currently residing in the Nation will account for 75 percent of the population growth in the United States over the next 50 years.
      (2) For millions of immigrants settling into the Nation's hamlets, towns, and cities, the dream of `life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' has become a reality. The wave of immigrants, of various nationalities, who have chosen the United States as their home, has positively influenced the Nation's image and relationship with other nations. The diverse cultural heritage of the Nation's immigrants has helped define the Nation's culture, customs, economy, and communities. By better understanding the people who have immigrated to the Nation, individuals in the United States better understand what it means to be an American.
      (3) There is a critical shortage of teachers with the skills needed to educate immigrant students and their families in nonconcentrated, nontraditional, immigrant communities as well as communities with large immigrant populations. The large influx of immigrant families over the last decade presents a national dilemma: The number of such families with school-age children requiring assistance to successfully participate in elementary schools, secondary schools, and communities in the United States, is increasing without a corresponding increase in the number of teachers with skills to accommodate their needs.
      (4) Immigrants arriving in communities across the Nation generally settle into high-poverty areas, where funding for programs to provide immigrant students and their families with the services the students and families need to successfully participate in elementary schools, secondary schools, and communities in the United States is inadequate.
      (5) The influx of immigrant families settling into many United States communities is often the result of concerted efforts by local employers who value immigrant labor. Those employers realize that helping immigrants to become productive, prosperous members of a community is beneficial for the local businesses involved, the immigrants, and the community. Further, local businesses benefit from the presence of the immigrant families because the families present businesses with a committed and effective workforce and help open up new market opportunities. However, many of the communities into which the immigrants have settled need assistance in order to give immigrant students and their families the services the students and families need to successfully participate in elementary schools, secondary schools, and communities in the United States.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to establish a grant program, within the Department of Education, that provides funding to partnerships of local educational agencies and community-based organizations for the development of model programs to provide immigrant students and their families with the services the students and families need to successfully participate in elementary schools, secondary schools, and communities in the United States.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

      (1) IMMIGRANT- In this Act, the term `immigrant' has the meaning given the term in section

101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101).

      (2) OTHER TERMS- Other terms used in this Act have the meanings given the terms in section 14101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 8801).

SEC. 5. PROGRAM AUTHORIZED.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Education may award not more than 10 grants in a fiscal year to eligible partnerships for the design and implementation of model programs to--
      (1) assist immigrant students achieve in elementary schools and secondary schools in the United States by offering such educational services as English as a second language classes, literacy programs, programs for introduction to the education system, and civics education; and
      (2) assist parents of immigrant students by offering such services as parent education and literacy development services and by coordinating activities with other entities to provide comprehensive community social services such as health care, job training, child care, and transportation services.
    (b) ELIGIBLE PARTNERSHIPS- To be eligible to receive a grant under this Act, a partnership--
      (1) shall include--
        (A) at least 1 local educational agency; and
        (B) at least 1 community-based organization; and
      (2) may include another entity such as--
        (A) an institution of higher education;
        (B) a local or State government agency;
        (C) a private sector entity; or
        (D) another entity with expertise in working with immigrants.
    (c) DURATION- Each grant awarded under this Act shall be awarded for a period of not more than 5 years. A partnership may use funds made available through the grant for not more than 1 year for planning and program design.

SEC. 6. APPLICATIONS FOR GRANTS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Each eligible partnership desiring a grant under this Act shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may require.

    (b) REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION- Each application submitted by a partnership under this section for a proposed program shall include documentation that--

      (1) the partnership has the qualified personnel required to develop, administer, and implement the proposed program; and
      (2) the leadership of each participating school has been involved in the development and planning of the program in the school.
    (c) OTHER APPLICATION CONTENTS- Each application submitted by a partnership under this section for a proposed program shall include--
      (1) a list of the organizations entering into the partnership;
      (2) a description of the need for the proposed program, including data on the number of immigrant students, and the number of such students with limited English proficiency in the schools or school districts to be served through the program and the characteristics of the students described in this paragraph, including--
        (A) the native languages of the students to be served;
        (B) the proficiency of the students in English and the students' native languages;
        (C) achievement data for the students in--
          (i) reading or language arts (in English and in the students' native languages, if applicable); and
          (ii) mathematics; and
        (D) the previous schooling experiences of the students;
      (3) a description of the goals of the program;
      (4) a description of how the funds made available through the grant will be used to supplement the basic services provided to the immigrant students to be served;
      (5) a description of activities that will be pursued by the partnership through the program, including a description of--
        (A) how parents, students, and other members of the community, including members of private organizations and nonprofit organizations, will be involved in the design and implementation of the program;
        (B) how the activities will further the academic achievement of immigrant students served through the program;
        (C) methods of teacher training and parent education that will be used or developed through the program, including the dissemination of information to immigrant parents, that is easily understandable in the language of the parents, about educational programs and the rights of the parents to participate in educational decisions involving their children; and
        (D) methods of coordinating comprehensive community social services to assist immigrant families;
      (6) a description of how the partnership will evaluate the progress of the partnership in achieving the goals of the program;
      (7) a description of how the local educational agency will disseminate information on model programs, materials, and other information developed under this Act that the local educational agency determines to be appropriate for use by other local educational agencies in establishing similar programs to facilitate the educational achievement of immigrant students;
      (8) an assurance that the partnership will annually provide to the Secretary such information as may be required to determine the effectiveness of the program; and
      (9) any other information that the Secretary may require.

SEC. 7. SELECTION OF GRANTEES.

    (a) CRITERIA- The Secretary, through a peer review process, shall select partnerships to receive grants under this Act on the basis of the quality of the programs proposed in the applications submitted under section 6, taking into consideration such factors as--
      (1) the extent to which the program proposed in such an application effectively addresses differences in language, culture, and customs;
      (2) the quality of the activities proposed by a partnership;
      (3) the extent of parental, student, and community involvement;
      (4) the extent to which the partnership will ensure the coordination of comprehensive community social services with the program;
      (5) the quality of the plan for measuring and assessing success; and
      (6) the likelihood that the goals of the program will be achieved.
    (b) GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF PROGRAMS- The Secretary shall approve applications under this Act in a manner that ensures, to the extent practicable, that programs assisted under this Act serve different areas of the Nation, including urban, suburban, and rural areas, with special attention to areas that are experiencing an influx of immigrant groups (including refugee groups), and that have limited prior experience in serving the immigrant community.

SEC. 8. EVALUATION AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT.

    (a) REQUIREMENT- Each partnership receiving a grant under this Act shall--
      (1) conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the program assisted under this Act, including an evaluation of the impact of the program on students, teachers, administrators, parents, and others; and
      (2) prepare and submit to the Secretary a report containing the results of the evaluation.
    (b) EVALUATION REPORT COMPONENTS- Each evaluation report submitted under this section for a program shall include--
      (1) data on the partnership's progress in achieving the goals of the program;
      (2) data showing the extent to which all students served by the program are meeting the State's student performance standards, including--
        (A) data comparing the students served under this Act with other students, with regard to grade retention and academic achievement in reading and language arts, in English and in the native languages of the students if the program develops native language proficiency, and in mathematics; and
        (B) a description of how the activities carried out through the program are coordinated and integrated with the overall school program of the school in which the program described in this Act is carried out, and with other Federal, State, or local programs serving limited English proficient students;
      (3) data showing the extent to which families served by the program have been afforded access to comprehensive community social services; and
      (4) such other information as the Secretary may require.

SEC. 9. ADMINISTRATIVE FUNDS.

    A partnership that receives a grant under this Act may use not more than 5 percent of the grant funds received under this Act for administrative purposes.

SEC. 10. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2002 and such sums as may be necessary for each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.


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