SENATE BILL 89
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020
William P. Soules
FOR THE LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION STUDY COMMITTEE
RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION; ENACTING THE BILINGUAL TEACHER SCHOLARSHIP ACT; PROVIDING POWERS AND DUTIES; PROVIDING APPLICANT QUALIFICATIONS; CREATING A FUND; PROVIDING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new section of Chapter 21 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Bilingual Teacher Scholarship Act"."
SECTION 2. A new section of Chapter 21 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Bilingual Teacher Scholarship Act:
A. "bilingual multicultural education program" means a program using two languages, including English and the home or heritage language of a student, as a medium of instruction in the teaching and learning process;
B. "department" means the higher education department;
C. "speakers of other languages" means students whose first or heritage language is not English and who are unable to read, write, speak or understand English at a level comparable to grade level English proficient peers and native English speakers; and
D. "teacher preparation program" means a public- education-department-approved program at a New Mexico institution of higher education that leads to a license endorsement in teaching English to speakers of other languages or bilingual multicultural education."
SECTION 3. A new section of Chapter 21 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] DEPARTMENT POWERS--GRANTS--ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS--PREFERENCES.--
A. The department shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of the Bilingual Teacher Scholarship Act.
B. The department may award scholarships to licensed teachers seeking endorsements or degrees in teaching English to speakers of other languages or bilingual multicultural education.
C. In awarding scholarships, the department shall give preference to teacher preparation programs that contain coursework in:
(1) Spanish or a tribal language;
(2) teaching English to speakers of other languages;
(3) use of a language other than English for instructional purposes;
(4) the development of cultural proficiency in working with New Mexico's public school population, particularly Hispanic and Native American students; and
(5) instructional methods and techniques that have proven effective in second language acquisition that meet rigorous content standards and are effective in teacher preparation program students successfully completing coursework for teaching English to speakers of other languages or bilingual multicultural education endorsement."
SECTION 4. A new section of Chapter 21 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SCHOLARSHIPS--PRIORITIES.--
A. The department may award scholarships to New Mexico residents who are licensed teachers studying to teach English to speakers of other languages or bilingual multicultural education who agree to teach English to speakers of other languages or bilingual multicultural education in a New Mexico public school.
B. Scholarships shall be sufficient to pay the cost of tuition, fees and instructional materials. Students shall enter into a contract with the department. As part of the contract, a scholarship recipient shall agree to work for a period of three full academic years in a New Mexico public school.
C. Priority to receive the scholarship shall be given to licensed teachers who:
(1) received the New Mexico seal of bilingualism-biliteracy on their high school diploma of excellence; and
(2) have demonstrated proficiency in one of New Mexico's indigenous languages or the Spanish language and who want to become bilingual multicultural education teachers."
SECTION 5. A new section of Chapter 21 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] BILINGUAL TEACHER SCHOLARSHIP FUND-- CREATED--PURPOSE.--The "bilingual teacher scholarship fund" is created as a nonreverting fund in the state treasury. The fund consists of appropriations, gifts, grants and donations. Money in the fund is subject to appropriation by the legislature to award scholarships pursuant to the Bilingual Teacher Scholarship Act. Disbursements from the fund shall be on warrants issued by the secretary of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the secretary of higher education or the secretary's designated representative."
SECTION 6. A new section of Chapter 21 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] REPORTS.--The department, in consultation with the public education department, shall provide the legislature with an annual report that includes:
A. the number of teachers who receive scholarship funds pursuant to the Bilingual Teacher Scholarship Act;
B. the institution of higher education that the individuals attended;
C. the license endorsement that the teachers are pursuing; and
D. upon completion of license endorsement requirements:
(1) the name of the school district or charter school where the scholarship recipient is employed; and
(2) the type of teaching English to speakers of other languages or bilingual multicultural education program in which the individual teaches."
SECTION 7. APPROPRIATION.--One million dollars ($1,000,000) is appropriated from the public education reform fund to the bilingual teacher scholarship fund for expenditure in fiscal year 2021 to carry out the provisions of the Bilingual Teacher Scholarship Act. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the public education reform fund.
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