Support HB 964: ESOL at Community Colleges

By Chris Ross, JD, Associate Director for Social Concerns

House Ways & Means Committee (Mar 19, 2013)

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public-policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

HB 964 would remove the $6 million cap on the maximum State funding level for English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) programs at local community colleges.

ESOL services provide an additional benefit to Maryland communities by helping immigrants improve their English skills and thereby better integrate into society. Improved English competency enables immigrants to communicate with their neighbors, their co-workers, their children’s teachers, and others. When such communications are made more clear by better language comprehension, all Marylanders benefit.

We urge your support for HB 964 as an important means of providing opportunity to adults who have need of basic adult education and literacy services, including (ESOL). These basic services will help Maryland adults to better their own lives – and those of their families. Thank you for your consideration.