Calif. Neglects Education of ELLs, Lawsuit Claims

Courtney Williams's picture
Friday, June 1, 2012

State officials are neglecting their legal obligation to ensure that students who are learning English are receiving an adequate and equal education, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the ACLU of Southern California and other advocates.

The focus of the litigation is a small school system near Fresno, but the legal implications are broader: The suit accuses the state of poor oversight and says it must, by law, act to make sure these students are keeping pace academically with their peers across California.

The suit claims that the Dinuba Unified School District in Tulare County uses a substandard curriculum to improve the lagging performance of students who have yet to master English.

For the last three years, children in Dinuba "have been subjected to a program … that lacks sound educational support [and] contradicts bedrock principles of how children learn language," according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court.

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