Our Legal Responsibilities to English Language Learners

Making sure that ELLs receive equitable access to curriculum, instruction, resources and opportunities is not only the right thing to do, it is actually required by law. There have been numerous significant Supreme Court Cases as well as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA – which replaced NCLB) that mandates the legal responsibilities of schools in regards to the rights of ELLs. I am sharing some videos with a summary of these landmark cases and laws.

Lau v. Nichols – Schools must provide ELLs with a program for teaching them English.

Castenada v. Pickard – ELL programs must adopt a sound approach to teaching ELL students, implement the chosen approach and monitor the progress of ELLs.

Plyler v. Doe – All students have the right to attend public schools near where they live in the United States, even if they are undocumented because all public schools receive federal funding. All students are protected under Articles V and XIV of the US Constitution, regardless of their immigration status.



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