Roberson's big move: Boost funding for English Language Learners

State Sen. Michael Roberson will propose later today that the Legislature inject about $20 million a year to intervene in the early grades to help Hispanic children speak English.

Roberson confirmed the move in an interview and said he has the support of Clark County Superintendent Dwight Jones, whom he praised. The funding would allow the hiring of 400 school personnel, including 200 teachers and 200 instructional aides. 

Where will the money come from? "I look at it this way," Roberson told me. "We spend $3.2 billion in general funding, We will have a little bit more money over and above last session. If we cant find $20 million out of $3.2 billion, have a problem with priorities."

Roberson said he has not talked to any Democratic lawmakers about this and knows some will say he is simply doing this to pander to Latino voters. "Whatever people want to attribute to my motives, I'm doing it."