Democratic members of Congress are pushing back against a proposal from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that would scrap the federal office that guides education policy and practice for millions of English-language-learner and immigrant students.
An estimated 5 million English-learners attend public schools in the United States, and their advocates have concerns that the proposal would undermine efforts to improve education for an already underserved group.
“Maintaining a separate office that addresses the unique needs of English-learners is also necessary to meet obligations under the landmark Supreme Court case Lau v. Nichols that ensures equal access to education for the country’s ELs. Without a seat at the table, the needs of ELs are likely to be ignored,” a May 24 letter to DeVos says.
Despite the concerns of Congress and advocacy groups, the department seems ready to forge ahead with plans to restructure the office.
A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2018 edition of Education Week as Congress Pushes Back on Plan From DeVos to Scrap ELL Office