Arizona reaches deal over education of English language learners

Arizona has agreed to offer targeted reading and writing instruction to tens of thousands of public school students who were wrongly denied services under an English Language Learner program, the Justice Department said on Friday, Reuters reports. The settlement resolves a complaint filed with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Justice that students had been incorrectly identified as fluent in English over the past five school years or prematurely moved out of the language assistance program.

“All students are entitled to equal opportunities, and this resolution will help to make sure Arizona students receive the education they deserve,” Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, said in a statement announcing a settlement in the case.

The agreement comes as Arizona is at loggerheads with the administration of President Barack Obama over the Mexican border state’s treatment of illegal immigrants within state borders, estimated to number around 360,000…

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