CALIFORNIA — California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 370 into law. Authored by Assemblymember Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay), AB 370, known as the Biliteracy Advancement Act, aims to establish equity in the standards necessary to achieve the coveted State Seal of Biliteracy.

“The State Seal of Biliteracy is an important means for California to acknowledge the remarkable accomplishments of multilingual learners. Students from diverse language backgrounds who demonstrate exceptional proficiency in English and an additional language should have equal opportunities to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy,” commented Addis. “I appreciate the Governor’s dedication to empowering California’s multilingual learners by expanding the opportunities for all students to attain this prestigious achievement, while maintaining high standards.”

According to a press release from Addis’s office, existing disparities in the criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy had placed English language learners at a distinct disadvantage in their pursuit of the Seal. The Biliteracy Advancement Act addresses this imbalance by offering students more options for demonstrating English proficiency, thus aligning with the current alternatives for second language testing and ensuring a fair pathway to the State Seal of Biliteracy for all students. This new law is set to take effect on January 1, 2024.