State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. says the city plan will provide more options, support and services for students and their families. The city expects to open 125 bilingual programs in the next three years.
King says Wednesday that English language learners face serious obstacles to academic success and the program will remove many of them.
In addition to Spanish, students in New York City schools come from homes and neighborhoods where any of dozens of different languages are spoken.
The graduation rate for English language learners was just 42 percent in June. That's up from 25 percent in 2003.