Published Online: May 7, 2013
Published in Print: May 8, 2013, as Calif. Neglecting ELLs, ACLU Lawsuit Claims

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Calif. Neglecting ELLs, ACLU Lawsuit Claims

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More than 20,000 English-language learners in California's public schools are not receiving language instruction, and the state department of education is failing in its role to ensure that schools educate such students, a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union charges.

The ACLU of Southern California's lawsuit, filed last month, contends the education department has neglected its obligation to monitor English-language-acquisition programs for students in many of the state's more than 1,000 districts. California's public schools enroll more than 1.4 million English-learners, roughly one in four of the state's K-12 population.

The Asian Pacific American Legal Center and the private law firm of Latham & Watkins also are representing plaintiffs in the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Among other allegations, the lawsuit says some districts receive tens of millions of dollars in state aid, as well as federal Title III dollars, for providing English-language instruction to ELLs but then don't provide the services. The state is not monitoring districts as required to ensure those dollars are spent for that purpose, according to the lawsuit.

Vol. 32, Issue 30, Page 5

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