By Stephen D. Guschov, April 29, 2021
The Department of Justice announced a settlement agreement with the Coolidge Unified School District in Arizona to resolve the DOJ’s investigation into the school district’s programs for its English learner students.
The DOJ investigation of the district found system-wide failures to provide the instruction, resources, and teacher training that students needed to master English, leaving them to struggle academically year after year.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division stated, “The Justice Department will continue to enforce the law to make sure students who are learning English get the help they need to truly thrive in the classroom. We commend the district for entering into this agreement and look forward to working together so that the district’s English learner students can realize their full potential.”
Under the settlement agreement, the district will increase language instruction for English learner students so they can become fluent in English and understand the coursework in all of their academic subjects. The agreement also requires the district to provide robust teacher training, obtain the special materials and curricula that English learner students need to succeed academically, and actively evaluate students’ progress.
Stephen is the executive director of ProEnglish.