Texas requires a school district to offer bilingual education when its enrollment of limited English proficient (LEP) students in a particular elementary grade and language is twenty or higher. Using school panel data, we find a significant increase in the probability that a district provides bilingual education above this 20-student cutoff. Using this discontinuity as an instrument for district bilingual education provision, we find that providing bilingual education programs (relative to providing only English as a Second Language programs) does not significantly impact the standardized test scores of students with Spanish as their home language (comprised primarily of ever-LEP students). However, we find significant positive impacts on non-LEP students’ achievement, which indicates that education programs for LEP students have spillover effects to non-LEP students.
Journal of Public Economics, 2013, Vol 107, p. 63-78