ELL Legal Requirements Workshop.4.26.12

Presented By:
Alphie Paternostro, Supervisor, Linden
Maria Romero, Supervisor, Carteret
David Nash, Esq., Director of Legal Education, FEA
Identification and Registration of ELL
Parental Rights
Program Requirements, Triggers and Waivers
Addressing Students with Multiple Needs
Student Exiting, Reentry, Movement in and
Out of District
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
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)
OCR settlement – Los Angeles School Dist.
◦ New Jersey case on student who graduated in another
country, right to education in NJ
◦ Involved disparate impact, lesser percentage of ELL and
African American students in advanced classes, lesser
access to best teachers
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
Requires district to develop, implement, monitor
plan to strengthen delivery of instruction and
increase participation in challenging courses
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
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 extracurricular activities, clubs, etc.?
What steps can you take to improve these
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
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
Addressing Students from Other States
Addressing Students from Other Countries
See N.J.A.C. 6A:22
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
However, we must honor high school diploma for
student from another state in U.S.
Must establish bilingual education program
when enrollment of LEP student reaches 20 or
more in district
ESL program – 10 or more ELL students in
English Language Services – Between 1 and 9
ELL students enrolled in district
See N.J.A.C. 6A:15-1.5
May request waiver from requirement for
bilingual education program.
Must demonstrate would be impractical due
◦ Age range
◦ Grade span
◦ Geographic location
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
Right to refuse student participation in
bilingual program
Right to remove student from bilingual
◦ 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
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
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
Provides federal funds targeted to
◦ Increasing English language proficiency
◦ Providing professional development
Student enrolls in PreK in district
Primary language spoken in home is not
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
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
◦ Standardized test results in English
◦ Input of teaching staff members
Teen Dating Violence Act
New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights
◦ Protected characteristics include national origin,
◦ Catch all other distinguishing characteristics would
include English language proficiency