Reading teachers benefit from the additional flexibility gained by also having an ESOL license and vice versa. The claim of duplication results from comparison of the new sets of teacher preparation courses.
But the option of obtaining a license under reduced requisites also will be offered to teachers who have never taken those courses. As a result, their preparation to help their students learn will be incomplete at the same time that their students need more help than ever.
This confluence of factors will result in an even lower academic performance for students and schools.
Florida not only fails Hispanic students in their secondary education who are not fluent in English.
These and other students also lack adequate opportunity to develop their Spanish, in part because authorities have not allocated more funds to expand bilingual and dual language education and, in Miami-Dade, Spanish classes dedicated exclusively for children whose first language is Spanish are actually disappearing.
The beauty of the language — and our identity — fades in the metropolitan region.
Moreover, the outlook has gotten complicated for those without a high school diploma hoping to follow the example of prior students who often managed to obtain high-school equivalence as adults through a GED test and certificate.
Late in June, Adult Education administrators participated in a conference held on the west coast of the peninsula. One of the hot topics was the reduction of enrollment in the ESOL and GED adult programs in Miami-Dade and in the rest of Florida after modifications in state law restricted the eligibility of candidates and raised registration costs.
Seeing doors to a promising future close on them, both young and adult ESOL students are left without the basic requirement to move up to higher education and the American Dream.
It is now up to Gov. Rick Scott and the members of the Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus to change course before dragging our community down a cliff.