Monday, April 13, 2009

Major ELL Funding Case Goes to U.S. Supreme Court

This from ACCESS:

For the first time since 1973 when it ruled in Lau v. Nicols, 414 U.S. 563 that students with limited English proficiency have a right to a “meaningful educational opportunity,” the United States Supreme Court will be considering a case involving the provision of services to English Language Learners (“ELLs”).

Speaker of Arizona House of Representatives v. Flores, which will be argued later this month, involves enforcement of the federal district court’s order that the State of Arizona reasonably fund programs for teaching English to these students.

In 2000, the federal district court had held that Arizona was violating the federal Equal Educational Opportunity Act (“EEOA”) because the amount of funding it was allocating to school districts for ELL programs had not been determined through any rational process and was ‘arbitrary and capricious.”

The EEOA requires states to “take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation by its students in instructional programs.” ...

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