Texas' bilingual ed needs have skyrocketed

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An expert on bilingual education has told Texas' sweeping school finance trial of the state's dramatic growth in students considered English-language learners.

Delia Pompa is senior vice president of the National Council of La Raza. She testified Tuesday that from 1998 to 2008, the number of English-language learners jumped 38.4 percent.

That's compared to overall enrollment growth of 17.4 percent over the same period.

But Pompa said funding for bilingual and English as a Second Language programs fell from $1.2 billion in 2009-10 to $949 million in 2011-12.

She added that English-language learners had an 18 percent passing rate on the 2012 statewide standardized test known as STAAR. Non-English-language learning students had 72 percent passing rates.

Over 600 school districts are suing Texas over the way it funds schools.

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