May 1, 2013

California Ignoring Some English Learners, Lawsuit Says


California ignoring some English learners, lawsuit says
California's Department of Education has failed its obligation to give English-learning students legally required help, says a suit filed by the ACLU and others.
By Howard Blume
April 24, 2013

The state Education Department has ignored its obligation to make sure that thousands of students learning English receive adequate and legally required assistance, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

State officials said they had not studied the lawsuit, but insisted they are meeting their legal obligations.

The suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others, focuses on an estimated 20,000 students who are receiving no help or inadequate services as they work to learn English and keep up academically at the same time.

Although federal and state funds are set aside to help English learners, the best approach has long been a topic of contention. Programs that offer the teaching of academic subjects in a foreign language have become more rare. It's more common for English-speaking teachers to receive training in how to make their lessons more accessible. And students can also receive support in classes taught in English.

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