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``SEC. 7144. BILINGUAL EDUCATION CAREER LADDER PROGRAM.
- ``(a) Purpose.--The purpose of this section is--
- ``(1) to upgrade the qualifications and skills of noncertified educational personnel, especially educational paraprofessionals, to meet high professional standards, including certification and licensure as bilingual education teachers and other educational personnel who serve limited English proficient students, through collaborative training programs operated by institutions of higher education and local and State educational agencies; and
- ``(2) to help recruit and train secondary school students as bilingual education teachers and other educational personnel to serve limited English proficient students.
- ``(b) Authorization.--
- ``(1) In general.--The Secretary is authorized to award grants for bilingual education career ladder programs to institutions of higher education applying in consortia with local or State educational agencies, which consortia may include community-based organizations or professional education organizations.
- ``(2) Duration.--Each grant under this section shall be awarded for a period of not more than five years.
- ``(c) Permissive Activities.--Grants awarded under this section may be used--
- ``(1) for the development of bilingual education career ladder program curricula appropriate to the needs of the consortium participants;
- ``(2) to provide assistance for stipends and costs related to tuition, fees and books for enrolling in courses required to complete the degree and certification requirements to become bilingual education teachers; and
- ``(3) for programs to introduce secondary school students to careers in bilingual education teaching that are coordinated with other activities assisted under this section.
- ``(d) Special Consideration.--The Secretary shall give special consideration to applications under this section which provide for--
- ``(1) participant completion of baccalaureate and master's degree teacher education programs, and certification requirements and may include effective employment placement activities;
- ``(2) development of teacher proficiency in English a second language, including demonstrating proficiency in the instructional use of English and, as appropriate, a second language in classroom contexts;
- ``(3) coordination with the Federal TRIO programs under chapter 1 of part A of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the National Mini Corps under subpart 1 of part F of title V of such Act, the Teacher Corps program under subpart 3 of part C of title V of such Act, and the National Community and Service Trust Act of 1993 programs, and other programs for the recruitment and retention of bilingual students in secondary and postsecondary programs to train to become bilingual educators; and
- ``(4) the applicant's contribution of additional student financial aid to participating students.