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20,000 students sue over mediocre English instruction

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   April 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Thousands of California students filed a suit against the California Department of Education for failing to adequately teach English and provide the required assistance to help them keep up with their studies at the same time.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of an estimated 20,000 students learning English as a second language in California schools who say they are not receiving necessary assistance.

“It is a blatant violation of the law not to provide these students the most basic and essential component of their education -- language to access their classes,” Jessica Price, staff attorney with the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, told the Los Angeles Times.

Price said school-reported data indicated 250 districts acknowledged they were not providing appropriate assistants to students and the state has not intervened.

State officials, however, insist it was maintaining its obligations.

We are "determined to ensure that all English learner students receive appropriate instruction and services," Chief Deputy Supt. of Public Instruction Richard Zeiger told the Times.

Zeiger asked parents to use the department's official complaints process to deal with specific complaints.

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