OAKLAND, CA — June 2020 — Californians Together, in partnership with SEAL and Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL), has been awarded a $5 million Educator Workforce Incentive Grant from the California Department of Education to support implementation of the California English Learner Roadmap Policy.

The three organizations will work together over the next three years to help county offices of education implement the Roadmap. Passed in 2017, the Roadmap is designed to guide systemic change to improve education for the 1.2 million English learners who attend school in California.

The new partnership is called EL RISE! (English Learner Roadmap Implementation for System Excellence). The three organizations will partner with 20 county offices of education to increase their capacity to meet the needs of English learners; work with Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to build knowledge and develop local implementation plans; host professional development for educators; and help with technical assistance and capacity building. The 20 county offices of education collectively serve 76.7% of California’s English learners.

“During these challenging times it is especially critical that we address the educational needs of English learners,” said Dr. Debra Duardo, superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education. “We are excited to partner with Californians Together, (SEAL, and CEEL) on this vital work to build our districts’ capacity to improve academic outcomes for these students.”

The EL RISE! partnership will facilitate local cross-sector teams to help each county become familiar with the roadmap as well as job-specific professional development strands for leaders and administrators, teachers, and for bilingual and dual language teachers. EL RISE! will also host institutes for other stakeholders such as board members, parents and higher education faculty. These sessions will focus on topics like improving classroom practice, creating an asset-oriented school climate, and demographics and research on the EL population in California.

EL RISE! is focused on both supporting educators in developing skills and knowledge they need to deliver powerful instruction and services to English learners, but also on systems change. To that end, EL RISE! will also make work sessions available to help LEAs with things like developing English learner aligned LCAPs, master plans, data dashboards, and developing other resources for the field.

“Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) is thrilled to partner with Californians Together as an EL RISE! anchor county hub,” said Tim Hire, Tulare County Superintendent of Schools.

“We look forward to learning alongside Californians Together, Sobrato Early Academic Language, and Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Equity for English Learners to further local efforts toward English Learner Roadmap policy implementation in our schools. The collective effort toward refining services for the more than 25,000 English learners in our districts is well-aligned to TCOE’s goal that all ELs are reclassified within five years of entering our schools and is reflective of our shared commitment to continuous improvement.”

“We must do all we can to help our English learners,” said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools. “We are honored to be part of EL RISE! and the EL Roadmap implementation. English learners bring so much to the educational field and educators work so hard to achieve equity for our language learners.”

“Yolo County Office of Education is excited for the opportunity to work collaboratively with Californians Together, (SEAL, and CEEL) to strengthen our capacity to support the school districts in Yolo County to improve the achievement of English learners,” said Garth Lewis, Yolo County Superintendent of Schools,


Californians Together is a statewide coalition that advises state and national policy makers and mobilizes communities to protect and promote access to quality education for the state’s English learners.

SEAL (Sobrato Early Academic Language) is a research-based English learner and bilingual education model. SEAL has been working with educators and school leaders from more than 100 elementary schools and 130 preschool classrooms in California for 12 years.

Center for Equity for English Learners at Loyola Marymount University (CEEL) since 2006, enriches and supports the work of educators, schools, school systems, educational/community partners, and policy makers through an assets-based approach.