Needing to learn English as a foreign language adds an extra obstacle to a child's education.
Arizona students with limited English proficiency tend to score lower than their peers on Arizona's Instrument to Measurement Standards (AIMS) tests in elementary school, according to the Arizona Department of Education. Their four-year high school graduation rates are also much lower than the statewide average.
The difficulties faced by English Language Learner (ELL) students inspired local teachers and parents to look for creative ways to improve these students' chances of success. High-need schools can apply for grants to fund English classes for parents. However, these grants are competitive. They are only available to schools where at least 40 percent of students are on the free or reduced lunch program, according to the Arizona Department of Education.
Parents say English classes make it easier for them to communicate with their students' teachers. School administrators and teachers hope that these classes will improve parents' ability to help their kids with their homework.
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