What is the English language learner component?
What is the English Language Learners (ELL) Component in the BEF formula? Continuing our review of the student-weighted factors in the state’s BEF formula, in addition to the poverty weights discussed last week, the formula includes a weight targeted to students who are English Language Learners—ELLs.
When creating the BEF formula, the Commission recognized that additional educational resources are required to educate ELLs. In addition to the regular instruction associated with their grade level, ELLs also require instruction in the English language. As a result, costs to educate ELLs are high due to the added supports and the generally lower student to teacher ratio (based on the population of students and the number of languages spoken by ELLs).
Just like the poverty weights, the BEF formula applies a weight to the number of ELLs in each school district—providing each school district with “add-on” ADMs in recognition of the additional resources directed to ELLs. Each school district’s total number of ELL ADMs is multiplied by a weight of 0.6. The product is the number of ELL add-on ADMs in the BEF formula.
For example, Lancaster SD in Lancaster County had 1,906 ELL ADMs in the 2018-19 BEF formula. To calculate the school district’s ELL weighted ADMs, the formula multiplies the 1,906 by the English language learner weight of 0.6, resulting in 1,143.60 ELL weighted ADMs to be added on for that district.
The number of ELLs—and the resulting ELL add-on varies tremendously across school districts. Some school districts have very small ELL populations, while others are educating large and growing numbers of ELL students.
Click on the map below to review the number of ELLs in each school district, the percent of total ADMs represented by the ELL population in each school district and the ELL add-on ADMs as a result of the application of the ELL weight.