The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) recently announced it reached a settlement agreement with the California Department of Education (CDE) and California State Board of Education (Board) regarding monitoring and oversight of services to students identified as English Learners (EL). The agreement is focused on CDE and the Board improving their monitoring of services to students who have been identified as EL to better ensure they are provided proper language instruction in public schools in California.
In May 2015, the USDOJ found CDE and the Board were not meeting their obligations under the Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA), with regard to students identified as EL. The agreement requires CDE and the Board to undertake several actions, including:
- Create policies and training to ensure CDE processes and takes corrective action in monitoring all schools for EL service violations.
- Improve CDE’s online monitoring tools to ensure if a school is found to be out of compliance, there is on-site monitoring with adequate evidence that the noncompliance has been corrected.
- Responding in a timely manner to provide evidence that schools failing to serve EL students are notified immediately and a protocol is followed by which the school must submit to CDE documented evidence that the violation has been resolved.
- Consider all reports of unserved EL students, including charter schools, when selecting schools for monitoring reviews.