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Some Non-English-Speaking LEUSD Kids Left To Languish, ACLU Claims In Lawsuit Threat

“Affording no services whatsoever to these children ghettoizes them …,” said Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel of the ACLU of Southern California.

The American Civil Liberties Union of California and others are threatening legal action against the state if educators don’t immediately act “to provide essential language instruction to thousands of underserved English learner (EL) students, as required by state and federal law.”

As part of the ACLU's looming litigation, the Lake Elsinore Unified School District is being accused along with 250 other districts in the state of not adequately educating EL kids: The ACLU claims 41 EL students in the LEUSD received no services to help them learn English during the 2010-11 school year. Statewide, more than 20,000 EL students were not getting services they needed, according to a Jan. 23 report from the ACLU.

And the practice continues, ACLU officials allege.

“The lack of instruction violates legal mandates …,” according to a statement from the ACLU, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP.

LEUSD officials reject the claim that local EL kids aren’t getting a proper education, and state officials also deny allegations.

The district has been reviewing the ACLU report, LEUSD spokesman Mark Dennis said last week. “There are questions about how the data was compiled,” he explained, noting that the state has undergone a switch to new data systems, which could explain the discrepancy.

According to ACLU figures, the LEUSD had a total of 3,339 EL students across the district in 2010-11, and approximately 1.23 percent did not receive any English language services.

Dr. Karen Cadiero-Kaplan, director of the California Department of Education's English Learner Support Division, issued the following Jan. 23 response to the ACLU claims:

"Despite the enormous financial strains of recent years, California has made dramatic progress in seeing that all English learners receive appropriate instruction and services. School districts — which are responsible for providing instruction to students and appropriate services to English learners — currently report that more than 98 percent of the state's 1.4 million English learners are receiving services."

The ACLU disagrees.

“State educational officials are creating a caste system whereby tens of thousands of children—nearly all of whom are U.S. citizens—are denied access to the bond of English language that unites us as Californians and are placed instead into linguistic isolation which prevents them from achieving academic proficiency in state-mandated curricula,” said Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel of the ACLU of Southern California.

“Affording no services whatsoever to these children ghettoizes them …,” Rosenbaum continued. “And because English learners make up one quarter of all students in California’s public schools and one out of every four EL students in the nation are in California schools, the state’s no-services practices leave not only these children far behind, but also California along with them.”

The ACLU and other organizations have requested a response from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and the State Board of Education within 30 days.

snoopy January 29, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Insane liberals, secure the border California is in debt, we can't afford to give them one on one schooling. Lawyers are like predators sometimes, using these kids to make money. More of the same, just a different day. The bankers get their 58 bill a month while the suckers argue, and the dollar is devalued more and more. The democrats like fools play the race card like good little sheep, and the Republicans pretend their angry. In the mean time both are filthy rich, have their own health care, are immune from gun control laws, while their kids and schools are protected by armed police and they are surrounded by body guards. The president continues to pretend he thinks the bankers are evil while he refuses to regulate derivatives, and makes sure the fed continues to pour out billions to them for their off shore tax free accounts. It's unbelievable how stupid and cowardly people can be. Those who violate our constitution need to go on a list for the world to see, and it should be posted daily.
snoopy January 29, 2013 at 04:21 PM
If people wonder why the liberals are so blind sided wonder no more, their anger rules them drives them and blinds them.
Alek J Hidell January 29, 2013 at 04:30 PM
We could offer to send the kids to re-education camps where English language only would be enforced, perhaps erect some tent universities out in the desert. Would the families be interested in that? You cannot force a person to learn and use a second language..If you want to try then make it a prison
tom January 29, 2013 at 05:03 PM
The 14th amendment was to make former slaves citizens.. Not anchor babies.
Jason EHS '99 January 29, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Since when is it the schools responsibility to teach kids how to talk? If the parents dont know English, go back home and take your EL kids with you. They stop doing alot of after school programs and other activities due to budget cuts, now we are gonna spend money teaching something that is already required before you can enroll in school. And people wonder why California has the lowest test scores
One Voice January 29, 2013 at 05:37 PM
I find this article to be a bit unrealistic. Where is the incentive for these children to want to learn and speak English when we in California cater to the Hispanic people. Our billboards are in Spanish, our food labels are in Spanish, press one for English? McDonalds is now broadcasting their commercials in Spanish. Everywhere I go Hispanic people are speaking "their" language and so are their children. I agree that these children are entitled to an education but until their parents start using only "English" their children will not speak it our learn it. How confusing it must be for a child to be taught English in school and then go home and be surrounded by their piers who do no use the language. Our schools are doing the best they can, ask a teacher how hard it is to teach a class and meet criteria when 3/4 of the students are non English speaking kids.
DonG January 29, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Only the hispanics think that invading a sovereign country is good, yet we see first hand what the invasion is doing to our country.. They would do do so much better in their own countries of origin, NOT here.. Tell the fools that are pushing this amnesty for these illegal to enforce the laws and start moving them out. And these are illegal anchor babies, NOT Americans!
Kimberly January 29, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Absurdity! Out with the ACLU!!
Tina Tyra January 29, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Supposedly this new immigration bill (pardon me if I have no faith) requires that immigrants learn English. IF they secure our borders as they say they will and IF they require immigrants to pay their fair share of taxes and IF they are required to learn some American history, then perhaps they can earn their way to citizenship because we have failed to monitor our borders and now we are behind the curve. After this, we should go back to the rules that built this country. If you want to immigrate, you must be employable and have a sponsor. You must learn English and contribute. I'm on board for that. It shouldn't be as easy as simply sneaking into the country and having a baby subsidized by the taxpayers of America.
MT January 29, 2013 at 09:34 PM
The teachers responsible for teaching the EL classes are most likely not doing their job. The only reason those teachers are employed by the school is to teach students in those EL classes English. I know first hand that in some EL classes at Elsinore High, the teachers don't teach. I've heard from Foreign Exchange students that come here for a year abroad, and who are forced to take an EL class, that the class is a joke. And a waste of their time. These foreign exchange students are required by law to know efficient English to an extent before being able to study abroad. The district makes some of them take an EL class. But yes, it sucks that these students tell me that the EL class is a joke. The teacher[s] responsible for not teaching should be fired.
Pickles January 29, 2013 at 09:52 PM
LEARN ENGLISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DonG January 29, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Tina, I with you. I am not supporting any form of amnesty which rewards their illegal occupation of our country, NOT theirs. We pay for them from cradle to grave and this amnesty is a BAD idea for America and us as Americans. Fight against this treason.
California Girl January 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM
I remember when I was in school, and there was a teacher aid in the class who spoke Spanish, and she would help the students who did not speak English, she would help translate everything for them. I just think that they should learn English in a separate class or something, so they don't make others fall behind, because a teacher has to speak two or teach two different languages in a class!!
The Teller of Truth January 29, 2013 at 10:31 PM
My sister is a Teacher. She absolutely refuses to learn Spanish. She and alot of her fellow Teachers get downright angry when this subject is even brought up. They are mad about the fact that they see these families get taken care of for free, when they are struggling with their Teachers paycheck thats taxed to death. Sure when thats thrown in your face every day, its not hard to see how they eventually become so bitter. Then it ends up showing in their work. Not saying that 'every' teacher is like this, but you'd be surprised at how many are. No its not right & the system is definately broken.
No one January 29, 2013 at 10:44 PM
I grew up with kids whose parents came to the US legally but did not speak english. Those parents instilled in their children the desire to advance with education and speaking english in fact the parents insisted their children speak english. The people who are entering the US now legally or illegal are not of the same mind set. We are getting the uneducated who have no ambition to better themselves. A total burden on taxpayers.
merne January 30, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Ok lets keep it in perspective. the aclu is made up of a bunch of lawyers. who knows if they are even representing the people appropriately. they could very well be milking it for the benefit of the aclu. and since others have brought it up. it may not be the teachers responsibility to teach students to speak English, but neither is teaching them not to steal! to share! keep negative comments to themselves! to not bully! to wear appropriate attire! are you guys kidding me! if all of you people TAUGHT YOUR KIDS AT HOME i wouldn't have to do it in the classroom. i much would rather translate than teach students to behave like civilized human beings.
Roberto January 30, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Who cares if thet learn english or not? This isn't England nor is it Mexico. If you want to advance and work you will learn english. If don't , you will not. Who cares?
John Cumms January 30, 2013 at 04:29 AM
Tell the parents to get off their lazy asses and learn English for free at an Adult school. If the parents are here legally, then by all means use my tax dollars, but if thier illegal, send them back with their kids where ever they came from. I will drive them for free
John Cumms January 30, 2013 at 04:31 AM
We are having hards times here to, but I'm not invading someone else's country and getting everything for free then bitch about it if I don't get everything I want.California, the Nanny state.
John Cumms January 30, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Hey, when I lived in a Spanish speaking community, my school didn't teach me Spanish, I'm going to start sueing too. ACLU, please contact me
John Cumms January 30, 2013 at 04:36 AM
Your 100% right. I have been saying the same thing. Besides that, they are racist.
Uptowntrb January 30, 2013 at 04:45 AM
WHERE IS THE "LIKE" BUTTON!!!!! I was so fired up about this article and ready to reply.... seems I have nothing to add here that all of you have already said. The Entitlement attitude is alive, strong and encouraged in the ACLU. Seems they served their time and is no longer needed!
Matt January 30, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Totally agree. Also we should write in proper grammar as a good example. Fixed it for you We already pay for THEIR health care, THEIR rent, THEIR food, and THEIR families food. If you live in America, you should speak English and not cater to a bunch of immigrants.
mynameis January 30, 2013 at 05:26 PM
did you ever stop to think the schools just might be filtering out teachers who are paid to do what is required by law in an 8 hour school day or however long.companies do it all the time.take out the old in with the newly graduated nurses, teachers,etc.every company does it.if teaching is your passion then you should have nothing to worry about.
mynameis January 30, 2013 at 05:31 PM
did you ever stop to thin that the schools are filtering out the teachers that are not doing waht they are paid to do in their work day regardless of what it is and who its for.clearing the way for those newly graduated teachers,nurses,etc.so if you have a passion for teaching and are performing your tasks and duties then you have nothing to worry about.big companies do it all the time.they are call audits.
John January 31, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Wow you guys are a bunch of angry white people, you are against educating children, who will grow up and remain citizens of this county. An educated population benefits us all. Would you really tell a child they don't deserve an education because their parents don't speak the language? You need to ask Jesus to forgive you for your sincere lack of compassion. If it was your family suffering you would do everything you could to make things better.
John January 31, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Is it more cost effective to educate children who desperately need it? or imprison someone who has turned to crime because they can't find a decent job? Bottom line folks. Simple economics.
John January 31, 2013 at 03:54 AM
You sure called the kettle black on this one.
John January 31, 2013 at 04:00 AM
I know right? They should be speaking our native language. Is Navajo or is it Cherokee? Whatever, Spanish is an import. Oh wait, so is English.
Roberto January 31, 2013 at 04:37 AM
I'm in favour of english immersion only. All this coddling hurt's the taxpayers, children and the economy. The coddling does fatten up the wallets of worthless givernment workers, liberals & othe do nothing groups.

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