California ordered to teach English learners
Judge James Chalfant on Tuesday directed the California Department of Education to make sure that all students who do not speak English are taught the language. A recent study revealed that nearly 25 per cent of school districts in the state fail to meet the requirement of educate all children who do not speak English.
The requirement is mandated by the federal government as well as the California government. The study also revealed that more than 20 per cent of students in the state are not having a command over English.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLA), which represented three Spanish-speaking students in the court case that led to Chalfant's ruling, claimed that the students lagged other students due to language barriers.
The judge noted that 20,300 students in the state are not receiving their instructional services, which was enough portray a bleak picture of the situation.
Pronouncing the verdict, the judge said, "You've got to go ferret this out because you can't have even one child that isn't getting their instructional services. You have a report that 20,000 aren't getting their instructional services. That's not good enough."
However, Chalfant added that the specifics were up to the state education authorities.
Across the state, 251 school districts, including Los Angeles Unified School District and Twain Harte-Long Barn Union Elementary in the Sierra foothills, have reported deficiencies in educating English learners. Los Angeles Unified School District admitted that it did not educate 4,150 of 194,904 English learners, while Twain Harte-Long Barn Union Elementary failed to teach its single English learner.
The California Department of Education declined to comment on the ruling.
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