Lofgren Applauds new school guidance to assist English language learners

January 9, 2015
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) issued the following statement in support of the Departments of Education and Justice's joint guidance released this week reminding states, school districts and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English language learners have equal access to a high-quality education.

"This guidance is a promising step towards helping ensure that schools are doing all they can to support English language learners," said Lofgren. "Diversity is one of our greatest attributes in the South Bay, and the success of our community is dependent on the success of all of our students, regardless of their background. This guidance will be a useful tool to our schools as they work towards that goal"

The guidance explains schools' obligations to:

- identify English learner students in a timely, valid and reliable manner;
- offer all English learner students an educationally sound language assistance program;
- provide qualified staff and sufficient resources for instructing English learner students;
- ensure English learner students have equitable access to school programs and activities;
- avoid unnecessary segregation of English learner students from other students;
- monitor students' progress in learning English and doing grade-level classwork;
- remedy any academic deficits English learner students incurred while in a language assistance program;
- move students out of language assistance programs when they are proficient in English and monitor those students to ensure they were not prematurely removed;
- evaluate the effectiveness of English learner programs; and
- provide limited English proficient parents with information about school programs, services, and activities in a language they understand.

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