Back in February I wrote about the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos’, proposed reorganization of the U.S. Department of Education (USED) that would eliminate the USED’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). Since then, a group of 18 EL advocacy organizations and members of the U.S. Congress have written letters in opposition to the elimination of OELA.
The USED Office of English Language Acquisition is authorized in statute, under 20 USC §3420 et seq., and OELA is established as an entity whose Director, by statute, reports to the Secretary. Eliminating OELA would eliminate the position that directly reports to the Secretary on issues regarding ELs. Thus, the opposition coming from the U.S. Congress is a good sign to EL advocates because the elimination of OELA would need Congressional action. Opposition from Congress bodes well that it is unlikely that such a legislative change would pass if proposed. I will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.