This brief depicts demographic trends and the rich diversity of the English-Learner (EL) classified students enrolled in California’s public schools, including the number of language learners, geographic trends in where they live, their home language, and their race.

Key findings include:

  • The number and proportion of EL-classified students in California is decreasing;
  • The majority of EL-classified students are Latinx and Spanish speaking, but within this classification there remain rich diversity;
  • While Spanish remains the predominant language, the proportion of EL-classified students who speak Spanish has experienced a slight decline; and
  • Only 5% of California districts have proportions of EL-classified students equal to or exceeding 50%.

CA MTSS is a comprehensive framework that aligns academic, behavioral, social and emotional learning, and mental health supports in a fully integrated system of support for the benefit of all students. Understanding the landscape of language learners in California may be helpful in informing policy and implementation recommendations that help CA MTSS to provide targeted, impactful support to EL-classified students. The brief concludes with a discussion of the significance of these findings and policy recommendations related to CA MTSS.

This brief is part of the Landscape of Language Learners in California’s MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support).