The Value of Translation Consortia
In meeting the requirements of California Education Code Section 48985, many districts want to consider ways to reduce the translations workload while increasing the number of translations available to them.
The formation of translations consortia is one way to accomplish this aim. In a translations consortium, a district collaborates with other districts that have common needs for translations in particular languages, dividing up the translation responsibilities. For example, if Districts A, B, and C have a common need for translations in Somali; and if these districts identify a common need for translations of parental notifications regarding truancy, testing, and parents' rights, then District A might focus its translations resources on truancy notifications; District B, on testing notifications; and District C on parents' rights notifications. The resulting Somali translations would be shared among consortia members. Translations could be revised to suit local needs (e.g., local contact information, meeting dates).
The CMD provides data reports by which districts and county offices can begin to identify districts and schools that have common needs for translations in specific languages. In addition to these reports, districts may need to consider more recent enrollment information for their schools, current trends of immigration into the local community, and similar factors. In this way, districts and schools may gain a more up-to-date indication of the likely language groups for which translations will be needed.