The League of United Latin American Citizens, which calls itself the nation’s oldest and largest Hispanic organization, is not buying into the U.S. Department of Education’s rationale for merging the administration of Title III and Title l of the No Child Left Behind Act. Federal officials have said that moving the administration of Title III—the main conduit of funding under NCLB for English-language learners—to the Education Department’s office of elementary and secondary education will lead to better coordination between the two programs. The reorganization will be effective in the fall.
On July 11, LULAC passed a resolution saying that the office of English-language acquisition has been effective in helping states and school districts to meet the needs of ELLs. The reorganization will result in “implementation problems at the federal, state, and local levels,” the resolution says. It contends that other methods could produce better coordination between the two programs.
On the same day, LULAC approved a resolution written by the Arizona affiliate of LULAC concerning Arizona’s ELLs. As of this fall, the Arizona department of education has promised to enforce legislation that calls for school districts to teach English skills to ELLs for four hours each day in classrooms separate from non-ELLs. LULAC asks the state legislature to postpone implementation of the proposed program until a federal court approves funding to carry it out. LULAC also asks the state to accept alternative plans proposed by school districts to teach ELLs. The resolution contends that no evidence exists that shows “four hours is the optimum instruction time for ELL students.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.