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What Every School Leader Should Know About the Legal

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									   What Every School Leader
Should Know About the Legal
    Requirements for English
          Language Learners
                                         Presented By:
               Alphie Paternostro, Supervisor, Linden
                  Maria Romero, Supervisor, Carteret
    David Nash, Esq., Director of Legal Education, FEA
Objectives
Participants will gain an understanding of legal requirements
under state and federal law related to:
 Identification and Registration of ELL
  Students
 Parental Rights
 Program Requirements, Triggers and Waivers
 Accountability
 Addressing Students with Multiple Needs
 Student Exiting, Reentry, Movement in and
  Out of District
Sources of Law
 U.S. and New Jersey Constitutions
 Title III
 State and Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws
 ◦ (e.g., NJ Law Against Discrimination, Title VI)
 New Jersey Statute and Code
 ◦ N.J.S.A. 18A:35-15 to 26
 ◦ N.J.A.C. 6A:15
 State and Federal Case Law
Key Cases on ELL
 Lau v. Nichols – involved Title VI, Chinese
  students in San Francisco schools

 Plyler v. Doe – Involved questions on citizenship

 B.A. and J.H. v. Board of Ed. of Somerville (2009)
 ◦ New Jersey case on student who graduated in another
   country, right to education in NJ

 OCR settlement – Los Angeles School Dist.
 ◦ Involved disparate impact, lesser percentage of ELL and
   African American students in advanced classes, lesser
   access to best teachers
USDOE Office for Civil Rights
 First proactive civil rights enforcement action
  taken by Obama Administration
 Addressed disparities in educational
  opportunities for English Language Learners and
  African-American students
 Critical of underenrollment of ELL students in
  challenging courses, lack of access to effective
  teachers
 Requires district to develop, implement, monitor
  plan to strengthen delivery of instruction and
  increase participation in challenging courses
Potential Impact of OCR Case
 Sends powerful signal that USDOE is not
  sitting back, waiting for complaints
 Indicates OCR not focused solely on
  purposeful, overt discrimination
 Forces ALL school districts to ask difficult
  questions about current participation of ELL
  students in all aspects of district’s
  educational program
 Should focus districts on developing plans to
  improve high end outcomes, NOT just focus
  on meeting minimum state standards
Discussion Question
 What is your district’s current level of
  participation of ELL students in challenging
  courses (AP, honors, G & T, college prep)?
 What about current involvement in extra-
  curricular activities, clubs, etc.?
 What steps can you take to improve these
  levels?
Identification
 Screening Process - Home Language Survey
 ◦ Must include date of initial entry to U.S.
 Use of multiple criteria for determining initial
  eligibility for services
 Identification of Eligible Preschool Students
  for accountability purposes (linked to student
  count for Title III funds)
 N.J.A.C. 6A:15 – 1.3
Registration
 Cannot request information on citizenship -
  Plyler v. Doe
 Cannot request social security number,
  income tax returns
 Cannot demand any single form of proof of
  residency, must consider any evidence
  provided
 Addressing Students from Other States
 Addressing Students from Other Countries
 See N.J.A.C. 6A:22
Dangers in Current Registration
Processes
 Often times process is largely unregulated in
  local districts
 May depend on the whims of the secretary in
  main office
 May indicate inadvertent support for
  discriminatory practices if left unchecked
 Cannot decide student is ineligible simply
  because student has a diploma from another case.
  Need case by case analysis – See Somerville case
 However, we must honor high school diploma for
  student from another state in U.S.
Program Requirements/Triggers
 Must establish bilingual education program
  when enrollment of LEP student reaches 20 or
  more in district
 ESL program – 10 or more ELL students in
  district
 English Language Services – Between 1 and 9
  ELL students enrolled in district
District Waivers
 See N.J.A.C. 6A:15-1.5
 May request waiver from requirement for
  bilingual education program.
 Must demonstrate would be impractical due
  to:
 ◦ Age range
 ◦ Grade span
 ◦ Geographic location
Addressing Students with
Multiple Needs
 Districts have legal obligation to address
  special education needs of ELL students
 Critical to determine if academic difficulties
  are related to language proficiency, lack of
  literacy in native language and/or learning
  disability
Parental Rights
 Right to refuse student participation in
  bilingual program
 Right to remove student from bilingual
  program
 ◦ Need county approval to remove midyear
 Right to parental involvement in development
  and review of program
 ◦ Mandatory parent advisory committee
 Right to notifications in native language
Parental Notice
 Initial identification as eligible for enrollment
 ◦ Must include notice of right to decline
 ◦ Must be in writing in native language and in English
 Notices provided to all other parents
  regarding their child’s academic progress and
  rights regarding student safety and discipline
 Notice that student should exit program
  based on appropriate exit criteria
Title III
 Purpose is to help ensure that LEP students
  attain English proficiency, develop high levels
  of academic achievement and meet same
  academic standards as all students are
  expected to meet
 Establishes standards (WIDA), assessments
  (ACCESS) and accountability requirements
  (AMAO)
 Provides federal funds targeted to
  ◦ Increasing English language proficiency
  ◦ Providing professional development
AMAO Issue
 Student enrolls in PreK in district
 Primary language spoken in home is not
  English
 For purposes of accountability under Title III
  (Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives)
  does the student’s time in preK count?
 Answer – It Depends
 If district is receiving Title III funds for student,
  then time counts for AMAO
Exiting Program
 See N.J.A.C. 6A:15-1.3(c)
 Criteria for Exiting
 ◦ Results of English language proficiency test
 ◦ Assessing the level of reading in English
 ◦ Reviewing previous academic performance of
   students
 ◦ Standardized test results in English
 ◦ Input of teaching staff members
Entitled to Same Protections as
all other students
 Teen Dating Violence Act
 New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights
 ◦ Protected characteristics include national origin,
   ancestry
 ◦ Catch all other distinguishing characteristics would
   include English language proficiency

								
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