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Addis Announces Biliteracy Advancement Act

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO — Assemblymember Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) introduced Assembly Bill 370 known as the Biliteracy Advancement Act. This legislation creates fairer standards for the criteria required to obtain the State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB), specifically pertaining to English language learners.

"Obtaining the State Seal of Biliteracy should be achievable for multilingual students from all primary-language backgrounds," Addis said. "Balancing this benchmark is a step in the right direction when it comes to equitable education."

Currently, there is a distinct difference in the requirements to obtain the State Seal of Biliteracy, namely a lack of flexibility when demonstrating proficiency in English. Students have two mandatory testing criteria when demonstrating their command of the English language, without an option for substitution or flexibility, while there are five separate flexible testing options when testing for a non- English language. The lack of testing options for the English portion of SSB puts English language learners at a clear disadvantage to other students.

The Biliteracy Advancement Act would provide students with more options when testing for English proficiency, creating parity with the current second language testing alternatives and a fair path towards the State Seal of Biliteracy for all students. The SSB allows for students to showcase their proficiency in multiple languages to potential colleges and employers, as well as giving students a sense of pride in their primary language.

Dawn Addis was elected to the California State Assembly in 2022 to represent the 30th Assembly District. Dawn is a special education teacher who began teaching in public schools over 20 years ago, and holds a Master of Arts (MA) degree in special education from San Francisco State University. She has teaching credentials in elementary education, secondary education and special education and is fluent in Spanish. Dawn's long record of community involvement includes co-founding the Women's March in San Luis Obispo and being a Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund board member. In 2018, she won her first elected office, Morro Bay City Council, and served from 2018 to 2022. Dawn is the first Democrat to represent the majority of San Luis Obispo County in the State Assembly since 1947. She is also the first Democrat from San Luis Obispo County to serve in the State Assembly since 1922 and the first Democratic woman ever to hold this seat. Dawn and her husband Marcus have raised two children on the Central Coast and they have one rescue cat named Oppenheimer.

CONTACT: Jim Evans, 916-319-2030