English learner students have a right to equal access to high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve full academic potential. States, districts, and schools have obligations under federal law.
What kind of obligations does a school have for English Learners?
Schools have 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 parents who have limited English proficiency with information about school programs, services, and activities in a language they understand.
What can I do if I think my child’s rights are being violated?
If you have questions, want additional information, or believe that a school is violating federal law, contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The Cleveland OCR office can be reached at 216-522-4970 (TDD: 800-877-8339). Also see their website at www.ed.gov/ocr.
You can also file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights if you believe your child is being discriminated against. For more information about filing a complaint, visit www.ed.gov/ocr/complaintintro.html.