LMU Receives Major Federal Grant to Support English Learners in Los Angeles Unified School District

Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education has secured a $2.7 million federal grant in collaboration with Los Angeles Unified School District and the Sobrato Family Foundation to provide a comprehensive early literacy program and increase the pipeline of highly qualified bilingual teachers.

The 5-year partnership will support professional development for up to 84 in-service teachers annually at select schools with large populations of English learners (ELs) in transitional kindergarten through third grade. A total of 18 LMU School of Education pre-service teacher candidates will participate in professional development and complete their California Teaching Credential and Bilingual Authorization in Spanish. In addition, LMU will conduct research on the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) model.

“The need for high quality, evidence-based professional development for educators of English learners is critical,” said Magaly Lavadenz, executive director of the LMU Center for Equity for English Learners and principal investigator of the project. “CEEL is thrilled to partner with LAUSD to implement a research-based model that improves outcomes for young ELs in the district.”

Shane P. Martin, dean of the LMU School of Education, added: “This grant strengthens the long-term partnership between LMU and LAUSD in a high-need area for the district, while also addressing California’s teacher shortage through the preparation of new bilingual teachers.”

LMU’s funding is part of $22 million award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition under the National Professional Development Program. It aims to support educators of English learner students across the country.

“These grants are a smart investment in biliteracy, early learning, family and community engagement, and expanding professional development for educators working to meet the needs of English learner students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “With this funding, we continue to deliver on our promise of equity, excellence and opportunity in supporting educators, students and families across the country.”