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U.S. Supreme Court stated in Lau v. Nichols (1974):
This section describes Federal and State obligations to provide bilingual education for LEP students receiving education and special services.
The Federal basis for the right to bilingual education is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VI, Section 601, of the Act prohibits school districts receiving federal funds from discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Section 602 of the Act authorized the former Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) to issue regulations so that federal aid recipients complied with Section 601.
In 1968, HEW issued guidelines that required districts receiving federal funds to ensure that students of a particular race or national origin were not denied opportunity to receive the curricula, classes and activities obtained by other students. In 1970, HEW issued a memorandum that made the guidelines more specific, requiring districts to:
Title VI and the guidelines apply to all LEP students, including those with disabilities. This section was taken from the following article available at this link.
The Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974 (EEOA) requires states “to ensure that needs of students with limited English language proficiency are addressed,” by requiring them to remove barriers to equal participation in educational programs now rather than later, and it provides students with a right of action to enable them to enforce their rights, 20 U.S.C. § 1706. Flores v. Arizona, 516 F.3d 1140,1173 (9th Cir., 2008), (Link to Case) quoting Idaho Migrant Council v. Bd. of Educ., 647 F.2d 69, 71 (9th Cir.1981).
Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), states, districts, and schools have two sets of responsibilities for students with limited English proficiency. They are responsible for ensuring that these students make progress in learning English under Title III and that they become proficient in language arts and mathematics under Title I.
Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, The Department of Education is required to annually review whether states have made adequate yearly progress (as defined by the state) for each of the student groups and have met their objectives for increasing the number or percentage of students who become proficient in English. See a copy of the report here and in the resources below.
New York Protections 4
The New York Department of Education regulations describe the obligation of public schools to provide bilingual education instruction for LEP students. See Part 117 and 154 below. Other regulations also provide that testing materials used to assess whether students should be enrolled in special education programs must not be racially or culturally biased, and for LEP students, these materials must measure the student’s true abilities rather than measuring their English skills. See 8 NYCRR 2004.4.
Federal Department of Education (DOE)
National Studies on LEP Educational and Special Education Issues
New York State Department of Education
Guides and Manuals
|Frequently Asked Questions|
|Executive Order 13166|
|DOJ LEP Guidance|
|Federal Agency Guidance|
|Food Stamp Program|
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|Other Group Data|
|Resources and Training|
|Language Access Guides|
|Language Access Training|
|Model LEP Plans|
|New York Resources|
Last Updated: August 11, 2008 ● Empire Justice Center © 2008