August 27, 2014
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The state with the nation's highest density of English language learners is poised to fund programs for them for the first time ever.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has proposed spending $50 million over the next two years on pre-K programs, software and teacher training targeted at ELL students. Democrats say it's not enough, and are fighting a losing battle for triple that amount.
English language learners comprise 31 percent of Nevada students, thanks to heavy immigration during the Silver State's housing and business boom last decade. But federal data show the state's ELL graduation rate is the lowest in the nation, at 29 percent.
The issue has become a rallying cry this year like none before as the state's economy recovers and lawmakers seek solutions for Nevada's rock-bottom school rankings.
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