A DULT E NGLISH L ANGUAGE I NSTRUCTION IN THE U NITED S TATES : Determining Need and Investing Wisely Margie McHugh, Julia Gelatt, and Michael Fix July 2007 Migration Policy Institute 1400 16 th Street, NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20036 202 266 1940 www.migrationpolicy.org The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide. MPI 9s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy is a crossroads for elected officials, researchers, state and local agency managers, grassroots leaders and activists, local service providers, and others who seek to understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities today 9s high rates of immigration create in local communities. For more information, please visit www.migrationpolicy.org.
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The authors would like to thank Everett Henderson and David Dixon for their assistance in data tabulations. We are indebted to MPI Nonresident Fellow Heide Spruck-Wrigley for her many thoughtful ideas, editorial suggestions, and guidance throughout the compilation of this analysis, and to our MPI colleague Laureen Laglagaron for assistance in the editing and producing of this report. We also express our appreciation to the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York for their support of this analysis.<br><br> 3 Introduction Learning to speak, read, and write in the English language is the most important integration challenge that faces the 1.8 million immigrants who now arrive in the United States each year. 1 English is truly the language of opportunity for today 9s immigrants: it opens the door to jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and allows immigrants to communicate with their neighbors, their children 9s teachers, health care providers, landlords, and others with whom they must interact on a regular basis. English skills are also crucial to passing the US citizenship exam, which serves as a gateway to full participation in the life of one 9s community, including the ability to vote in local, state, and federal elections.<br><br> Given immigrants 9 growing share of our nation 9s citizens, workers, and families, promoting their acquisition of English is arguably the most important integration challenge 3 and opportunity 3 facing our city, state, and federal governments. We contend that ensuring that immigrants have the opportunity to acquire strong English language and literacy skills is among the most neglected domestic policy issues in our nation today. Evidence of this neglect abounds.<br><br> A 2003 Urban Institute study found that 60 percent of legal immigrants who were eligible to become citizens but had not done so were Limited English Proficient (LEP). 2 A study by The New York Immigration Coalition in 2001 estimated that only 5 percent of the need for English classes was being met in New York City. 3 Since the latest, historic wave of immigration began in the late 1970s, the need for adult English language instruction has increased rapidly while efforts to systematically develop large-scale, high-quality instructional services have lagged.<br><br> In the face of this neglect, the number of individuals five and older who report that they are LEP grew from almost 14 million in the 1990 census to over 21 million in the 2000 census and over 23 million in the US Census Bureau 9s 2005 American Community Survey. In this report, we provide census-based estimates on the number, educational attainment, and English skills of adults who are lawful permanent residents (LPRs) or unauthorized immigrants. The report translates these numbers into estimates of the hours of instruction these immigrants will need to achieve the English skills necessary for civic integration or what some refer to as cpatriotic assimilation d into US society, and, in the case of youth age 17 to 24, the English skills necessary for postsecondary study.<br><br> The report includes both national- and state-level estimates of instructional needs and the costs associated with meeting them. Our analysis demonstrates that the need for English language and literacy instruction by the nation 9s LPRs and unauthorized immigrants dwarfs the scale and abilities of the current service system. The extent of the disconnect between current need and available services makes plain that tinkering at the edges of the current system 3 whether with nominal increases in funding or continued nudges for performance improvements 3 will not be enough to meet the growing need for effective, high- 1 Doris Meissner, Deborah W.<br><br> Meyers, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, and Michael Fix, Immigration and America 9s Future: A New Chapter (Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute, 2006), 32-33. 2 Michael Fix, Jeffrey S.<br><br> Passel and Kenny Sucher, cTrends in Naturalization. d (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press, 2003). Available at: http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310847_trends_in_naturalization.pdf 3 New York Immigration Coalition, Eager for English: How and Why New York 9s Shortage of English Classes Should be Addressed (New York: New York Immigration Coalition, 2001). 4 quality instruction.<br><br> The report therefore goes on to identify several options for expanding the pool of money available for adult English instruction programs; and, in order to gain public confidence that these new monies will achieve maximal results, we build off of the findings of other recent studies in the adult-literacy field and propose a series of reforms to the current system 9s practices. The prospect of passage of a major immigration reform measure earlier this year presented an opportunity to address the mismatch between English instruction need and service supply since the law would likely have triggered demand for hundreds of millions of new hours of instruction per year over the next several years. 4 However, if the proposed Senate bill had been passed as written, or even with additional amendments similar to those adopted in 2006 to expand English and citizenship instruction, 5 its provisions for expanding English language instruction would have been plainly inadequate.<br><br> The Senate 9s failure to pass a ccomprehensive d immigration reform measure earlier this year is widely believed to make introduction of an ambitious reform bill of this sort unlikely for at least the next two years. 6 Yet, as this report demonstrates, significant funding and administrative reforms in the adult English language and literacy system are urgently needed simply to meet the needs of current lawful permanent residents and the many limited-English immigrants who continue to arrive and settle legally in the United States each year. Reforms made over the next several years to transform adult English language and literacy instruction for legal immigrants would mean that a more accountable and effective instructional system would be in place to meet the enormous increase in demand that would be triggered should a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants be adopted in coming years.<br><br> The human capital, economic development, and social cohesion arguments in support of such investments are well known and are referenced throughout the report, as are a range of legislative and program initiatives that might offer vehicles for meeting the need for improved adult English instruction services. This report is intended to expand and deepen the national dialogue on these issues by quantifying the need for such services and by setting out several policy and funding options for meeting the need. Legislative Context Comprehensive Immigration Reform.<br><br> Recent proposals for comprehensive immigration reform would have required unauthorized immigrants to acquire strong English skills in order to earn legal status. The leading Senate bill, for example, would have required unauthorized immigrants to pass 4 S.1348 would have extended to temporary workers and unauthorized migrants seeking to become LPRs the English language requirements for naturalization (as outlined in 8 U.S.C. 1423 § 312(a)).<br><br> 5 The Strengthening American Citizenship Act of 2005 (S. 1815), proposed by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and John Cornyn (R-TX), would have created an Office of Citizenship within US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to encourage and support immigrants seeking to naturalize as US citizens with English language and civics courses. The bill would have required the Office of Citizenship to establish a grant program providing up to $500 to assist legal residents who declare an intent to apply for citizenship with English language and civics courses as required in section 312 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C.<br><br> 1423). 6 Following the Senate 9s failure to end debate on S.1348 on June 28, 2007, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, and Border Security, said that the Senate vote ceffectively ends comprehensive immigration reform efforts in the 110th Congress. d 5 the naturalization exam in order to renew a provisional immigration status, or to obtain lawful permanent resident status. Given the high expectations set for immigrants 9 English skills in most recent reform measures, eventual passage of a legalization program likely would have triggered demand for millions of new hours of English language instruction by legalizing immigrants seeking to remain in the United States.<br><br> Recent reform proposals would also have increased funding for operations of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Office of Citizenship and Integration relating to cpatriotic integration d of prospective citizens. These proposals included the establishment of local cNew Americans Integration Councils d to study immigrants 9 integration needs in communities, and the issuance of small grants to supply materials and courses for immigrants learning English. AgJOBS Bill.<br><br> While comprehensive immigration reform appears unlikely in the next few years, some more targeted immigration reforms may still be brought up for debate in the 110th Congress. Among these, the AgJOBS Act would be most likely to affect the demand for adult English language instruction in the country. AgJOBS would offer temporary legal status in the form of a blue card to unauthorized immigrants who had met a minimum requirement for days or hours worked in agricultural jobs in the United States; the blue card also would grant the right to live and work legally in the United States on a temporary basis.<br><br> Up to 1.5 million blue cards could be allocated over the five years after passage of the bill. Blue-card holders could adjust to LPR status after additional years of agricultural employment. Blue-card holders would not be required to prove English proficiency in order to obtain LPR status.<br><br> However, if AgJOBS became law, government entities might choose to meet the English language instruction needs of these new, long-term, legal US residents, in order to support their ability to become more engaged and productive members of the communities in which they reside. Citizenship Test Redesign. Recent revisions to the naturalization exam could also increase demand for adult English classes.<br><br> A new version of the US naturalization exam is currently being tested in ten cities, with nationwide expansion expected by 2008. In response to calls to make the citizenship process and exam cmore meaningful, d the new exam will include fewer fact-based questions and more questions about US democratic principles, such as the meaning of cself- government. d The revised exam will also test English speaking, reading, and listening skills. While USCIS officials assert that the new test will not be more difficult, some immigrant groups claim the test could become harder for lawful permanent residents with less education and English ability, due to its reliance on testing for understanding of abstract concepts.<br><br> 7 Workforce Investment Act Reauthorization. In addition to immigration reform measures, the estimates and recommendations included here are pertinent to the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). WIA is the principal federal policy and funding vehicle for both workforce development (Title I) and adult education and literacy instruction for adults (Title II).<br><br> 7 Catholic Legal Immigration Network, cA More Perfect Union: A National Citizenship Plan, d http://www.clinic.org/DNP/citzplan07/Chpt_06.pdf. 6 Estimation of Adult English Language Instruction Needs We estimate below the costs of bringing US immigrants to the English proficiency level necessary to pass the US citizenship exam and allow full participation in the country 9s civic and patriotic life. Data Our estimates are based upon a broad array of available data, including: o tabulations of microdata from the US Census Bureau; o estimates of lawful permanent residents and unauthorized immigrants by the Urban Institute; o our own indexing of census data on immigrants 9 English ability to the Department of Education 9s accountability standards as established in their National Reporting System; o scholarship on the time required for immigrants to increase their English ability, and therefore the time required for immigrants to gain the English skills needed to pass the redesigned naturalization exam; and o data on the average hourly cost of English language instruction from a sample of states including both traditional gateway states and areas of new growth.<br><br> Numbers. We estimate that approximately 5.8 million LPRs in the country will require English language instruction to pass the naturalization exam and/or to have the necessary skills to participate in the country 9s civic life. We also estimate that approximately 6.4 million unauthorized immigrants in the country will require English language instruction in order to gain the necessary skills to pass the naturalization exam and obtain LPR status or to fully participate in the country 9s civic life.<br><br> Our estimates factor in two special subgroups of adult English language learners: (1) immigrant youth and (2) unschooled or nonliterate adults who are unable to read and write in any language. We estimate that there are 2.4 million immigrant youths (ages 17 to 24) who need English instruction in order to begin postsecondary education (i.e., to enroll in two- or four-year colleges without need for remediation classes). We estimate that approximately 400,000 LPRs and 350,000 unauthorized immigrants are nonliterate, even in their native language.<br><br> These immigrants will require special attention, or possibly instruction on basic literacy in their native language (referred to as basic education in the native language, or BENL), before making the transition into mainstream adult English language classes. Hours. Based on an average of 110 hours of instruction to rise one level of English ability, 8 it will require about 277 million hours of English language instruction a year, for six years, to bring all current adult LPRs to a level of English proficiency needed to pass the naturalization test (for those age 25 and older) or to begin postsecondary education (for youths ages 17 to 24).<br><br> It will require about 319 million hours of English language instruction a year, for six years, to bring all current adult unauthorized immigrants to these levels of English ability. 8 Estimates of the hours required to move up one level of English proficiency under the National Reporting System range from about 85 to 150 hours for most adults, or as high as 200 hours for those with learning disabilities or other impediments to learning. See John Comings, Andrew Sum, Johan Uvin, W.<br><br> Neal Fogg, Sheila Palma, Maricel Santos, Lisa Soricone, and Mykhaylo Trub 9skyy, cNew Skills for a New Economy: Adult Education 9s Key Role in Sustaining Economic Growth and Expanding Opportunity. d (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, 2000). 7 In 2000, the latest year for which detailed state-level analysis is possible, California accounted for about 34 percent of all English language instruction hours required nationwide, or a billion hours. Texas accounted for another 14 percent (417 million), New York 10 percent (289 million), and Florida 6 percent (174 million).<br><br> Providing individual immigrants with the up to 660 hours of English instruction needed to reach full English proficiency (moving at most from level 0 to level 6, with 110 hours per level) would bring the United States in line with the language instruction provided to immigrants in a number of other developed countries. For example, Germany offers immigrants 600, 45-minute German language courses, and Norway requires completion of a 300-hour, Norwegian language and social studies course of every immigrant between the ages of 18 and 55. In Australia, refugee and humanitarian entrants ages 18 to 25 with low levels of schooling are eligible for up to 910 hours of English language instruction while those over 25 are eligible for up to 610 hours of instruction, and nonhumanitarian immigrants are eligible for up to 510 hours of instruction.<br><br> In the United Kingdom, refugees and immigrants who have resided in the country for three years, as well as spouses of UK residents who have resided in the UK for one year, are eligible for free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes up to a level roughly equivalent to the end of high school. Cost. Our estimates project the costs for providing English language and literacy instruction to the cstock d of immigrants residing in the United States today, not to those who will continue to arrive and settle in coming years (below we address the need for ongoing analysis to account for annual inflows of new immigrants and their English instruction needs).<br><br> We estimate basic instructional costs to be about $10 per hour of classroom instruction per student. 9 This results in a cost of $1,100 per immigrant, per level of English proficiency. We assume costs will be divided over six years because states will require several years to scale up their programs, and some immigrants will require up to 660 hours of instruction to achieve English proficiency.<br><br> Assuming that immigrants would take an average of 220 hours of class a year (depending on individual circumstances), about three to four years of instruction would be needed after this scaling-up period. In recent years, the federal government has provided an estimated $250 to $300 million a year for adult ESL as part of Adult Basic Education grants to states. 10 States have contributed an estimated $700 million a year for adult ESL.<br><br> 11 Federally funded ESL programs are currently serving about 1.1 9 Our assumption of a cost of $10 per hour of classroom instruction per immigrant is based on interviews with ESL providers in a sample of states including both traditional gateway states and areas of new growth. 10 US Department of Education, cFunds for State Formula-Allocated and Selected Student Aid Programs, by Program, d http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statetables/index.html . This cost figure assumes that the proportion of all Adult Basic Education funds dedicated to adult ESL is proportional to the share of all adult education students in ESL versus those in Adult Basic Education or Adult Secondary Education classes.<br><br> 11 US Department of Education, cState Administered Adult Education Program, Fiscal Year 2003 Expenditures. d 8 million adults in the 50 states and District of Columbia. 12 However, many states report long waiting lists for English classes, indicating high levels of unmet demand. 13 Our calculations above indicate that about 5.8 million LPRs are in need of English language instruction, and that the total number of hours required to bring their English skills to the level that would allow for their civic integration into US society is 277 million hours in each of the next six years.<br><br> However, for purposes of our instructional demand and cost calculations we assume that not all of these immigrants will be able and/or willing to complete the courses necessary to obtain English proficiency within the six-year time period we use in this analysis. While the penalty for not learning English would be quite severe for unauthorized immigrants if they were offered a path to legal status conditioned on English proficiency, no such penalty exists for LPRs. Thus, our analysis assumes that as many as half of current LPRs would not demand classroom English instruction during this time period.<br><br> We further assume for the purposes of our cost calculation that not all English language instruction needs would be met through the traditional classroom model. For a substantial number of immigrants, the commuting time required, the difficulty of accommodating substantial hours of class time on top of work and family responsibilities, and the need for childcare, make classroom English instruction a less-than-optimal option. For these immigrants, and for LEP residents of communities that may lack the infrastructure to meet all English language instruction needs through classroom hours, distance learning, self-access learning, and other innovative and technology-based instruction models may replace some hours of classroom instruction.<br><br> Our estimates assume that English language learning that employs these models or augments classroom instruction with technology- based learning outside the classroom would likely reduce costs by moving English language learners through the various levels of English proficiency more rapidly. 14 We also believe that a substantial portion of immigrants will increase their English proficiency by a few levels simply by living in the United States for a period of years and continuously interacting with an English-speaking world. Another share of people will be motivated to increase their English skills through self-study and a personal, concerted effort toward practicing and improving their English on a daily basis.<br><br> To account for reduced costs of nonclassroom learning models and immigrants who are able to increase their English skills without formal instruction, we project that the actual demand for 12 US Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Division of Adult Education and Literacy, "Enrollment and Participation in the State-Administered Adult Education Program, http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/AdultEd/aedatatables.html. 13 The National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium estimated in January 2007 that 93,840 adults were on waiting lists nationwide for adult education and literacy classes, including adult ESL, http://www.ncsdae.org/myweb/Washington_News/Part%20II%202005- 2006%20WAITING%20LIST%20PUBLISH%20012607.pdf . 14 For example, the Innovation Program in California offers ESL and other instruction for adults through distance learning, including videos, workbooks and study packets, computer or Internet programs, and other delivery models, paired with weekly contact with instructors.<br><br> Data from California 9s ESL programs show that participants in the Innovation Program were less likely than students in traditional ESL classes to miss instruction time or to drop out of the program, and were more likely to complete one level of instruction and move up to the next. See Dennis Porter, cThe California Adult Education 2001-2003 Innovation and Alternative Instructional Delivery Program, A Review d (Carson, CA: California Distance Learning Project, California State University Dominguez Hills School of Education, June 2003), http://www.cdlponline.org/pdf/Innovation%20Programs%20Report%20.pdf. 9 English language instruction will be 10 percent lower than the number of instruction hours that would be required if all need was met through classroom instruction.<br><br> (See below for research recommendations related to this issue). Assuming partial participation by LPRs (50 percent) and expanded reliance on alternatives to classroom learning (10 percent reduction), we believe a realistic estimate of the cost of meeting current LPR demand for English language instruction to be about $200 million a year above current expenditures for six years. This figure assumes a base of roughly $1 billion a year already contributed by federal, state, and local governments; for purposes of this analysis all current spending is assumed to be directed to providing services to authorized immigrants.<br><br> In the event of a legalization program for today 9s unauthorized population, we project an increase of $2.9 billion a year in new costs for six years; in this case we assume that none of the $1 billion in current funding would serve the legalizing population. Ongoing Analysis of Need for English Language Instruction Our analysis, by necessity, focuses only on the pool of LPRs and unauthorized immigrants currently in the country. Under current laws, about 1 million people are obtaining LPR status every year, and the unauthorized immigrant population has been increasing by about 500,000 a year.<br><br> 15 The English language abilities and other characteristics of future LPRs and future unauthorized immigrants are impossible to predict accurately. Further, any predictions regarding demand for English instruction would be quickly outdated as educational systems around the world improve and increasingly teach English and other foreign languages, and as immigration flows shift according to global economic forces, regional political events, and natural disasters. In order to provide policymakers at all levels of government with the data they need to maintain an accurate understanding of the need for adult English language instruction in the United States, ongoing analysis of the adult English learner population is required.<br><br> To meet this need, we recommend that an organization such as the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) be given the responsibility and needed resources to study, on an ongoing basis, the English instruction needs of US adults. This recommendation is discussed in greater detail below. Funding Considerations The projected costs of fully meeting the English language instruction needs of the country 9s immigrants are admittedly very high.<br><br> However, through a combination of funding from immigrant clients, the federal government, states and localities where immigrants reside, and contributions by benefiting employers, these costs can be met. We present below a number of financing approaches that could be used to cover the costs of expanding English language instruction to meet the needs projected in our analysis. Immigrants: Impact Fees.<br><br> Recent comprehensive immigration reform bills would have required legalizing immigrants and participants in a temporary worker program to pay fees into a new State Impact Assistance Account. These fees, amounting to perhaps as much as $3.3 billion, would have 15 Jeffrey S. Passel, cThe Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population in the U.S. d (Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center, March 2006).<br><br> 10 been allocated to states, according to the size and recent growth of their noncitizen population, to offset the costs of health, educational, and related services to noncitizens. 16 States would have had broad discretion in using their impact-assistance money for educational, health, and related services, including adult English language instruction. State and Local Governments: Match to Federal Grants .<br><br> Currently, states vary significantly in the rate at which they match federal contributions to adult education classes. Nevada contributes just 17 cents for every dollar the federal government spends in the state, while Florida contributes 87 cents for every federal dollar. Considering total nonfederal contributions (state, local, and private), Florida 9s ratio of nonfederal to federal spending was $8 to $1; California 9s was $7 to $1.<br><br> In contrast, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas spend about 30 cents for every $1 they receive in federal support. 17 Requiring a larger minimum match from states would lead to greater equity in state contributions and expand service capacity. Federal Government: Social Security Contributions from Unauthorized Immigrants.<br><br> One potential source of funding to meet increased demand for adult English classes is the Social Security contribution paid by unauthorized immigrant workers. Recent proposals, including the 2007 Senate immigration bill (S. 1639) and the STRIVE Act (HR 1645), would have blocked legalizing immigrants from receiving Social Security benefits accrued while working illegally in the United States.<br><br> The amount of money these retained funds represent is very large. The Social Security Administration 9s (SSA) Earnings Suspense File is a record of wages reported to SSA under either a nonexistent Social Security number, or a number that did not match the name used on the earnings form. From 1937 through 2004, $585.8 billion in wages were recorded in the Earnings Suspense File.<br><br> About $432.4 billion of these wages (74 percent) were recorded just since 1994. 18 SSA officials suspect that unauthorized immigrants reported a large portion of these wages. 19 The Earnings Suspense File records only wages subject to Social Security taxes.<br><br> Wages earned by employees and employers are subject to a 6.2 percent Social Security tax on income up to a certain level ($97,500 for 2007) while self-employed individuals are subject to a 12.4 percent tax on earnings up to that same amount (however, self-employed individuals 9 Social Security taxes can be offset by income taxes). 20 Assuming that most unauthorized immigrants are not self-employed, we estimate Social Security contributions that may have resulted from wages paid under false or mismatched Social Security numbers to be $27 billion (i.e., $435 billion x 6.2 percent). The amount is likely larger 16 S.1348 would have required legalizing immigrants who were the head of household to pay $500 per principal and $250 per dependent toward the State Impact Assistance Account.<br><br> Using the most recent Pew Hispanic Center estimate of 6.6 million unauthorized cfamilies d (defined as a nuclear family or solo individual in which the head of household or spouse is unauthorized), if all such families had legalized under the Senate bill, $3.3 billion would have been raised for a State Impact Assistance Program. 17 US Department of Education, cState Administered Adult Education Program, Program Year 2003 Expenditures. d 18 Information provided by the Social Security Administration. 19 Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, cStatus of the Social Security Administration 9s Earnings Suspense File, d Congressional Response Report A-03-03-23038, http://www.ssa.gov/oig/ADOBEPDF/A- 03-03-23038.pdf ; Eduardo Porter, cIllegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions, d New York Times, April 5, 2005.<br><br> 20 For example, if a person reported $100,000 worth of earnings under a false Social Security number in 2007, only $97,500 of those earnings would be reported to the earnings suspense file, since any earnings beyond $97,500 are not subject to Social Security taxes. 11 than this once one considers the contributions made in 2005, 2006, and 2007, years of high unauthorized immigration and a relatively strong economy. Therefore, for purposes of our analysis, we estimate that there is roughly $30 billion in Social Security contributions from unauthorized immigrants recorded in SSA 9s Earnings Suspense file.<br><br> Given that immigrants are net fiscal contributors at the national level but a fiscal burden at the state level, 21 and that unauthorized immigrants 9 presence in local communities can be viewed as the result of failures in federal immigration policy, there is a rationale for sharing federal tax windfalls from immigrants with states struggling to meet the costs of immigrant residents. Assuming immigrants will not be permitted to claim benefits for periods of unauthorized work, drawing from their tens of billions in csuspended d Social Security contributions would help right these intergovernmental fiscal inequities by using immigrant tax contributions to underwrite the services state and local governments provide to their immigrant communities. Employer Contributions.<br><br> Another potential source of funding could be employer sponsors of permanent immigrants or temporary immigrants who are offered a path to permanent status. Employers who chose to bring immigrants to the country either temporarily or permanently could be asked to absorb a significant share of the costs of providing English classes to such workers. Other Federal Education, Workforce, Health and Human Services and Anti-Poverty Funds.<br><br> In addition to core funding for adult ESL programs that comes through the Workforce Investment Act 9s Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, numerous federal programs and funding streams support adult English language instruction. These include, for example, the Department of Health and Human Services 9 Head Start and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs; Housing and Urban Development 9s Community Service Block Grants; and the Department of Education 9s Even Start program, as well as specific programs within its migrant education and vocational education funding streams. These funds and programs might be expanded alone or as part of a comprehensive upgrading of adult English instruction services, and their capacity and unique role in serving adult ESL students could be clarified as part of a general move towards better integration and coordination of English instruction services at the state and local levels.<br><br> For example, beginning-level ESL courses (levels 0 through 3) might primarily use WIA Title II funds to focus on imparting English language fundamentals, while higher levels (4 through 6) could use program-specific funding streams to focus their content on civics/citizenship, workforce training, or precollege instruction, depending on local needs. Return on Investment in Adult English Proficiency Properly understanding the fiscal impact of spending on adult English language instruction requires an analysis of both the fiscal outlays involved, as well as the returns they generate. Providing English language instruction is an investment in the human capital of the nation that generates quantifiable results in the form of increased tax revenues, lower social welfare payments, and improved educational and workforce outcomes among children of immigrants.<br><br> 21 Deborah L. Garvey, cDesigning an Impact Aid Program for Immigrant Settlement, d in Securing the Future: US Immigrant Integration Policy , ed. Michael Fix, 154-157 (Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute, 2007).<br><br> 12 While the overall fiscal impacts of English language instruction have yet to be determined, substantial evidence shows that holding all else constant, increased English ability brings higher earnings, 22 with the greatest benefits accruing to more highly educated immigrants who can make use of specialized training once they have the English skills needed to do so. 23 Statistical analyses have shown that immigrants who are English proficient earn between 13 to 24 percent more than immigrants who are not English proficient. 24 However, immigrants with higher educational attainment are better able to capitalize on English proficiency than are immigrants with lower educational attainment.<br><br> Likewise, immigrants with higher English proficiency are better able to capitalize on increased educational attainment than immigrants who are not proficient in English. 25 English proficiency is also correlated with stronger attachment to the labor force. 26 Investments in English language instruction for the country 9s immigrants can therefore be expected to raise immigrants 9 productivity, earnings, and income tax payments.<br><br> Increased wages also reduce rates of poverty and lower rates of public benefits use, further increasing fiscal returns on investment in English instruction. And investment in adults 9 English proficiency generates returns not only through their improved labor market outcomes, but also through improvements in their children 9s educational and workforce outcomes. Research shows that children with limited English skills often perform poorly in school and later in the labor force.<br><br> 27 Because analysis of the return on investment in adult English proficiency would provide important information to guide actions by policymakers in this area, we recommend that an organization such as the National Bureau of Economic Research be contracted to provide a biennial report to Congress on the returns to the individual and to the larger society of investments in English language literacy instruction. 22 See for example Barry R. Chiswick and P.W.<br><br> Miller, cThe Endogeneity between Language and Earnings International Analyses, d Journal of Labor Economics 13, No. 2 (1995): 246-288; Marie T. Mora and Alberto Dávila, cGender, Earnings, and the English Skill Acquisition of Hispanic Workers in the United Sates, d Economic Inquiry 36, no.<br><br> 4 (1998): 631-644; Ross M. Stolzenbern, cEthnicity, Geography, and Occupational Achievement of Hispanic Men in the United States, d American Sociological Review 55, no. 1 (1990): 143-154.<br><br> 23 Barry Chiswick and Paul Miller, cImmigrant Earnings: Language Skills, Linguistic Concentrations, and the Business Cycle, d Journal of Population Economics 15 (2002): 31-57; Marie T. Mora, cAn Overview of the Economics of Language in the U.S. Labor Market, d Presentation Prepared for the American Economic Association Summer Minority Program, University of Colorado at Denver, June 20, 2003.<br><br> 24 Chiswick and Miller, cImmigrant Earnings d (see n. 23); Arturo Gonzalez, cThe Acquisition and Labor Market Value of Four English Skills: New Evidence from NALS, d Contemporary Economic Policy 18, No. 3 (2000): 259-269 .<br><br> However, other studies have suggested that the earnings benefit of English proficiency could be lower or higher than this range. See for example Libertad González, cNonparametric Bounds on the Returns to Language Skills, d IZA Discussion Paper No. 1098, March 2004, http://www.crest.fr/seminaires/lmi/gonzalez.pdf.<br><br> 25 Chiswick and Miller, cImmigrant Earnings d (see n. 23); Mora, cAn Overview of the Economics of Language in the U.S. Labor Market, d (see n.<br><br> 23). 26 Barry Chiswick, Yinon Cohen, and Tzippi Zach, cThe Labor Market Status of Immigrants: Effects of the Unemployment Rate at Arrival and Duration of Status, d Industrial and Labor Relations Review 50, no. 2 (1997): 289-303.<br><br> González, cNonparametric Bounds d (see n. 24). 27 National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families, edited by Donald J.<br><br> Hernandez and Evan Charney, Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Committee on the Health and Adjustment of Immigrant Children and Families (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999). 13 Maximizing the Return on New Funds Invested in Adult Literacy and ESL Services Adult education reform efforts of recent years have attempted to raise the quality of teaching, curriculum, and assessment in ESL and basic literacy programs around the nation. These important efforts notwithstanding, the capacity and quality of programs in the 50 states is uneven, 28 and even where it is generally good, there is reason to worry that quality might not be maintained if programs are dramatically expanded.<br><br> Critics contend that the current system is not working well to meet immigrants 9 (and by extension, the nation 9s) needs for a variety of reasons. They point, for instance, to the unintegrated character of programs serving civics, workforce, and family literacy needs; 29 problems with teacher quality and professionalization; 30 the system 9s lack of emphasis on distance or con-demand d learning; 31 and low retention and persistence rates (just 36 percent of students enrolled in ESL during the 2003-2004 program year succeeded in advancing one level). 32 These and other concerns raise questions about how the political will can be found to provide the large and historic infusion of resources required to meet the need for adult English instruction.<br><br> As the results of this analysis indicate, providing just half of the instructional hours needed by LPRs will require the system to move well beyond its current capacity and practices. And, should Congress enact a legalization program in the coming years, the scale and effectiveness of the current system would need to be transformed to meet the demand that such a program would likely unleash. Fortunately, despite these challenges, much is known about how to deliver high-value, high-quality adult English instruction.<br><br> 33 Demonstrating that measures are in place to ensure that new monies invested in the system will result in high-quality, cost-effective services will be essential in order to capitalize on any potential opportunity to considerably expand services. The following recommendations are provided to build public commitment to a significantly expanded system of adult literacy and ESL services. Promote Accountability and Best Practices by Using Peer and Expert Panels to Develop the Guidelines for and Review State Plans.<br><br> State plans that address a full range of program design and accountability issues should be required by the US Department of Education on a periodic basis from all states seeking new federal monies for adult English language instruction. A national panel of experts should be convened to design the guidelines for state plans, and other expert and peer 28 US Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, cAdult Education and Family Literacy Act, Program Year 2003-2004, d Report to Congress on State Performance, 2006. 29 Heide Spruck Wrigley, Elise Richer, Karin Martinson, Hitomi Kubo, and Julie Strawn, cThe Language of Opportunity d (Washington, DC: Center for Law and Social Policy, August 2003).<br><br> 30 Jodi Crandall, cProfessionalism and Professionalization of Adult ESL Literacy, d TESOL Quarterly 27, No. 3 (Autumn 1993): 497-515. 31 National Commission on Adult Literacy, cDare to Dream d (New York: Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy, April 2007): 33-37, http://www.caalusa.org/daretodream.pdf .<br><br> 32 US Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, cAdult Education and Family Literacy Act, Program Year 2003-2004, d Report to Congress on State Performance, 2006. 33 See for example Forrest P. Chisman and JoAnn Crandall, cPassing the Torch d (New York: Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy, February 2007).<br><br> 14 review panels should be charged with examining and then recommending approval or rejection of individual plans. The national expert panel that sets the guidelines for state plans should also designate acceptable ranges of students expected to advance one level of achievement per course of study. State plans should set annual benchmarks for student performance using these ranges.<br><br> Financial incentives could reward states that exceed the upper limit of the standards in less than six years. Expand the Use of Competitive Grants. Given the uneven record of states in creating programs that are successful in helping immigrants learn English 34 or in creating programs of significant scale, 35 the public policy rationale for simply allocating a large amount of potential new funding to states on a formula basis is not strong.<br><br> Therefore, the use of competitive grants should be expanded, and state match requirements should be adjusted in order to reduce the current large disparities in state contributions. Support States as They Scale Up Their Systems. Many states will need additional time and support to plan and develop expanded service delivery systems.<br><br> A portion of federal monies invested in this area for up to three years should be reserved for transitional grants that will assist states in designing and implementing state plans that will pass the expert and peer review process. Create Incentives for Using Well-trained, Highly Skilled Teachers. Federal funds should be used to leverage swift progress toward increasing the skills and quality of the adult ESL teaching force.<br><br> Currently, states set the standards for ESL teacher qualifications and the result is a patchwork of differing rules where, predictably, some are quite rigorous in the training or experience they require, and some are more lax. 36 Numerous researchers and teacher groups have pointed out that the part-time nature of most adult ESL teaching positions translates into low-pay, poor benefits, and few professional development or advancement opportunities for a large portion of the adult ESL teaching force. 37 These employment conditions add to the inherent difficulties of setting and sustaining high standards for teacher quality in a field that has not yet broadly adopted teacher competency, credentialing, or certification standards.<br><br> Were there to be a major expansion of adult English and literacy instruction, substantial improvements in the quality of the teaching force could be realized. In order to obtain federal program service grants, states could be required to ensure that all ESL teachers in programs supported with federal funds have successfully demonstrated high levels of competency in teaching adult ESL learners, completed a recognized course of study in adult second-language learning, and/or obtained a recognized credential or certification in adult second-language learning. Appropriate training and skill standards should be set for teachers providing Basic Education in a Native Language and vocational ESL as well.<br><br> 34 cAdult Education and Family Literacy Act, Program Year 2003-2004 d (see n.32). 35 The National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium (see n. 13).<br><br> 36 Texas Adult Education Credential Professional Development Planning Workshop Notebook (2005), The Education Institute. Texas State University-San Marcos. http://www.Credential/pdpw/credentialing in other states/2005 survey results.doc 37 cPassing the Torch d (see n.33 pp.vi-vii).<br><br> 15 Rubrics for these professional standards could be developed by the national panel of experts and spelled out in the specifications for state plans. States should be permitted to obtain transitional grants to support teacher credentialing or certification efforts. Provide Incentives for Expanding the Scale and Reach of Programs through the Use of Technology and an Emphasis on Self-study and Self-access Learning.<br><br> Skeptics will argue that it is unlikely that the United States can, or perhaps should even try, to meet the enormous need for adult ESL and BENL instruction through the current classroom instruction model. There simply may not be enough high-quality teachers or affordable classroom space available in the cright d places and at the cright d times to provide the hundreds of millions of hours of instruction necessary for either the LPR or potential legalization-program population. Further, the demands of many immigrants 9 work and family lives will likely make it difficult for them to regularly travel to an appointed time and place to be present for hundreds of hours of classroom instruction.<br><br> There appears to be little disagreement that a substantial expansion of programs that provide effective means for distance learning, anytime-anywhere, 38 and/or self-access learning, 39 is needed. However, ordinary classroom instruction remains the default instructional mode for a variety of reasons, including the need to improve learners 9 access to the technology upon which some of these instructional programs are based, the quality and availability of effective curriculum models, and the likely difficulty of evaluating such programs. A federal grant program should provide incentives to states to build the scale and reach of broadcast or information technologies to serve adult students; it should also encourage experimentation and sharing of successful practices in supporting anytime- anywhere and self-access learning.<br><br> Increase Public Confidence and Assure Quality by Requiring and Supporting Robust State Quality-control Systems. Currently, conventional practices such as random visits, audits, and scheduled program reviews by state monitors are not required. Effective quality-control systems should be a core component of state plans.<br><br> Parameters for these systems and practices should be specified in the guidelines for state plans established by the national expert panel. The US Department of Education should play a lead role in this and related areas by providing opportunities for sharing of best practices among state agencies. 40 Require an Annual Report to Congress.<br><br> In order to allow policymakers at all levels of government to adequately plan to meet English language instruction needs, an organization such as the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) should commission an ongoing study of changes in English language instruction needs in the United States, and issue an annual report to Congress. The report should include national-, state-, and perhaps county-level analysis of adult English instruction needs; data on the composition of recent immigration flows and immigrant settlement patterns across US states; and estimated instructional needs based on the English ability and educational attainment of recent immigrants from top immigrant-sending countries. 38 Materials and strategies that support learners who are not part of a regular instruction program to learn on their own.<br><br> 39 A program in which students are provided access to instructional materials such as books, audio tapes, or videotapes, and who then pursue their studies, often with guidance from a teacher. 40 Best practices could include model practices identified through private initiatives such as the Dollar General/ProLiteracy Performance Accountability Initiative, see http://www.proliteracy.org/external/dg_pai.asp. 16 The report should also use surveys and other methods to determine the level of demand for English instruction among LPRs.<br><br> At this time, no reliable research exists on the share of LPRs who would be willing and able to attend English language classes if they were readily available. Our estimate that LPRs will only demand about half of the English instruction hours needed to bring them to English proficiency within a period of six years could be an overestimate or an underestimate. Planners will need this information to develop appropriate infrastructure and allocate the necessary resources to meet the true level of demand for English instruction.<br><br> Finally, the report should analyze best practices for prevailing instructional models, outcomes for key student subgroups, outcomes of students taught with alternative methods, and the relative costs of different instructional methods. These data would allow for more informed allocations of funds to different instructional models and greater understanding of the learning progress and instructional needs of various students. Conclusion Across the United States, large immigrant-receiving metropolises and small towns and cities in new destination states are intensely feeling the impact of LEP immigrants.<br><br> Cities such as Los Angeles and New York, where roughly three-quarters and two-thirds of their respective immigrant adult populations are LEP, 41 confront major challenges in identifying funds to build their adult literacy service systems and provide access to their LEP residents. Similarly, current US Census Bureau figures show that dozens of new destination states and towns are faced with significant new demand for English language classes: between 1990 and 2005, the number of LEP adults grew by over 300 percent in states such as Georgia, North Carolina, and Nevada. The preceding analysis demonstrates that the need for English language and literacy instruction by the nation 9s LPRs and unauthorized immigrants dwarfs the scale and abilities of the current service system.<br><br> The extent of the disconnect between current need and available services makes plain that tinkering with the current system 4 whether with nominal increases in funding or continued nudges for performance improvements 4 will not be nearly enough to meet the growing need for effective, high-quality instruction. Therefore, we have identified several options for expanding the pool of money available for adult English instruction programs; and, in order to gain public confidence that these new monies will achieve maximal results, we have proposed several ways in which new monies could be used to accelerate the adoption of best practices in instruction and accountability by service systems throughout the country. With the retirement of the baby-boom generation set to begin next year, the United States cannot afford to have a substantial share of its workforce poorly educated and unable to meet the global economy 9s escalating demands for high worker productivity.<br><br> Sustaining productivity and paying health and Social Security bills will require the country 9s largely younger first- and second-generation immigrant population to succeed in schools and the labor market and be deeply invested in the American community. Investing in an adult English instruction system that can meet the demand for high-quality instruction and allow the nation to meet these challenges is an obvious strategy whose adoption is long overdue. 41 Randolph Capps, Michael Fix and Leighton Ku, cHow Are Immigrants Faring After Welfare Reform: Preliminary Evidence from Los Angeles and New York City. d (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press, 2002), http://www.urban.org/uploadedPDF/410426_final_report.pdf .<br><br> 17 Appendix One: Methodology for Analyzing Adult English Language and Civics Instructional Needs Estimating Numbers and English Proficiency of Adult English Language Learners To estimate the number of LPRs and unauthorized immigrants who would require English language instruction, and to determine their current levels of English proficiency, we began with data from the 2000 census, with imputations of immigrants 9 legal status that the Urban Institute developed. 42 Using these data, we ran tabulations of the number of LPRs and unauthorized immigrants by age (17 to 24, and 25 and older), by time in the United States (less than five years, from five to ten years, and more than ten years), by educational attainment (less than a 5 th grade education, or a 5 th grade or higher education), and by self-reported English-speaking ability ( cnot at all, d cnot well, d cwell, d cvery well, d conly English d). Drawing on methods that Jeffrey S.<br><br> Passel, Jennifer Van Hook, and Frank D. Bean developed, we used rough estimations to adjust for an assumed undercount of immigrants in the census. 43 We then obtained tabulations from the Urban Institute of 2005 Current Population Survey (CPS) data, with imputations of immigrants 9 legal status, to estimate the number of LPRs and unauthorized immigrants at each age range and duration of residence in the country.<br><br> 44 These numbers were also adjusted to account for an assumed undercount of immigrants. We assumed that rates of educational attainment and English language proficiency within each subgroup stratified by time in the country and age were the same as they had been in 2000. Estimating Hours Required to Attain Desired English Proficiency Census Data on Self-reporting.<br><br> One note of caution in viewing these data is that the US Census Bureau 9s decennial census, while providing the most complete picture of the English learning population in the United States, provides immigrants 9 self-reported English speaking ability, rather than the results of an objective test of English proficiency. There has been no reliable study undertaken in the last several decades to compare English proficiency as self-reported to the US Census Bureau to outcomes on tests measuring English proficiency. Therefore, we cannot be sure of the exact manner in which this self-reporting distorts the true level of English proficiency of the nation 9s immigrants.<br><br> Further, the US Census Bureau asks only about English-speaking ability and not about listening comprehension, reading, or writing. Therefore, we must assume that many adults reporting some proficiency in speaking English have acquired conversational English but cannot necessarily read or write in English. Assigning levels.<br><br> We assigned adults a level of English proficiency indexed to Department of Education accountability standards as established in the National Reporting System. These standards rank respondents 9 proficiency on a 6-point ascending scale, with level 6 representing an ability to communicate verbally and in writing in a variety of contexts related to daily life and work. 42 Jeffrey S.<br><br> Passel, Jennifer Van Hook, and Frank D. Bean, cEstimates of Legal and Unauthorized Foreign-Born Population for the United States and Selected States, Based on Census 2000, d Report to the Census Bureau (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2004), http://www.sabresys.com/i_whitepapers.asp. 43 Tabulations of 2000 census data and adjustments for undercount were performed by David Dixon.<br><br> 44 Tabulations of 2005 CPS data and adjustments for undercount were performed by Everett Henderson of the Urban Institute. 18 We added a clevel 0 d to these standards to accommodate those with low levels of formal schooling who are likely to not be literate in their native language, such as Creole speakers from Haiti or Latin American immigrants from rural areas. In making these assignments, we factored in immigrants 9 self-reported English proficiency, level of educational attainment, and time in the United States.<br><br> Given our uncertainty about any particular group 9s exact level of English proficiency, due to the nature of self-reported data, we assigned immigrants reporting within each level of English proficiency across a range of levels rather than to a single level. Promoting Civic Integration. In estimating the hours and cost required to bring all unauthorized immigrants and LPRs to a specified level of English proficiency, we assumed that the primary goal of federally funded English language instruction for adults was to assist them in passing a version of the US naturalization exam that tests knowledge of US government and values.<br><br> We estimate this would require a clevel 5 d English proficiency as defined by the Department of Education 9s National Reporting System. However, the basic English language reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills obtained for this purpose would also help immigrants contribute to the country 9s economy and the strength of local communities. Targeting Immigrant Youth.<br><br> Our second assumption was that young adults (those between the ages of 17 and 24), should be expected to attain an even higher level of English language proficiency given that they will likely be spending their entire adulthood in the United States. We assume that young adults should obtain a clevel 6 d English proficiency. This level would facilitate postsecondary study and promote their full participation in the country 9s community, economic, and political life.<br><br> Hours Required. Once each subgroup of immigrants was assigned a current level of English proficiency, we calculated the hours required to bring the LPR and unauthorized immigrant populations to the desired level of English language proficiency. Estimates of the time required to complete one National Reporting System level of English proficiency range from about 85 to 150 hours for most adults.<br><br> We use a conservative estimate of 110 hours to complete one level of English proficiency. Estimating Costs of the Necessary ESL Hours Based on data on the average hourly cost of ESL instruction from a sample of states including both traditional gateway states and areas of new growth, we estimate the cost of one hour of instruction as $10 per immigrant. Data from these states show a wide range of costs, but $10 falls in the mid-to- low range of the estimates.<br><br> State-level Data Appendix Two sets out data on hours of instruction needed by unauthorized and LPR populations by state. The results derive from analysis of the 2000 census. Sample-size restrictions limit our ability to update the analysis to 2005 using the Current Population Survey data as done for the national- level data.<br><br> 19 Appendix Two: Data on the Levels and Hours of Language Instruction Needed by Unauthorized Immigrant and Lawful Permanent Resident Populations Table 1. Number of Legal Immigrants by Age and English Ability, Indexed to National Reporting System Levels: 2005 NumberPercent Age 56+ 1,109,696100 Level 0 162,15915 Level 1 399,79936 Level 2 162,75915 Level 3 269,21924 Level 4 115,76010 Age 50 to 55 385,272100 Level 0 39,02510 Level 1 98,35726 Level 2 67,38917 Level 3 121,98032 Level 4 58,52115 Age 25 to 49 3,302,876100 Level 0 178,3945 Level 1 689,96121 Level 2 587,41318 Level 3 1,204,73736 Level 4 642,37119 Age 17-24 1,002,710100 Level 0 17,8002 Level 1 67,0107 Level 2 70,3527 Level 3 112,38011 Level 4 203,47520 Level 5 531,69353 TOTAL 5,800,554-- Source: MPI analysis of tabulations of 2000 census data and 2005 CPS with imputations of legal status by the Urban Institute. 20 Table 2.<br><br> Number of Unauthorized Immigrants by Age and English Ability, Indexed to National Reporting System Levels: 2005 NumberPercent Age 25 and older 4,951,995100 Level 0 311,0696 Level 1 1,358,85627 Level 2 939,98219 Level 3 1,638,55533 Level 4 703,53314 Age 17-24 1,440,458100 Level 0 39,3043 Level 1 192,50013 Level 2 169,19812 Level 3 194,12613 Level 4 301,25921 Level 5 544,07138 TOTAL 6,392,453-- Source: MPI analysis of tabulations of 2000 census data and 2005 CPS with imputations of legal status by the Urban Institute. Table 3. Hours of Instruction Required to Reach English Proficiency by Age and Legal Status: 2005 We assume a goal of bringing all immigrants (LPRs and Unauthorized) to a level 5 English proficiency for those age 25 and older, and to a level 6 English proficiency for those age 17 to 24.<br><br> Hours LPR 1,662,165,884 Age 56+ 390,770,981 Age 50 to 55 120,251,927 Age 25 to 49 931,249,052 Age 17-24 219,893,924 Unauthorized 1,913,498,299 Age 25 and older 1,517,049,416 Age 17-24 396,448,883 Source: MPI analysis of tabulations of 2000 census data and 2005 CPS with imputations of legal status by the Urban Institute. Table 4. ESL Hours Required to Bring Lawful Permanent Residents and Unauthorized Immigrants to English Proficiency: 2000 United States Alabama Alaska<br><br>