(CN) – The Justice Department and the California Department of Education agreed to settle a complaint that there aren’t equal education opportunities for 1.4 million students who are not fluent in English.
In 2015, the Justice Department found that each school year since 2007 the state had failed to adequately address reports that 20,000 English learner students were not receiving the language services they need to speak, read, write or understand English under the Equal Educational Opportunities Act.
In a statement, the Justice Department said that it had reached a two-year agreement that requires state officials to notify schools that are failing to offer language services to students, inform them of violations under the act, and monitor schools for compliance.
The government says the agreement is related to a statement of interest it filed in July 2014 in the Los Angeles County court case D.J. v. State of California. The agreement does not change the private settlement reached in that case, the government said.
“We applaud the state of California for working cooperatively with the Justice Department to ensure that all English learner students can access the language services they need to learn,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We look forward to working with state officials to implement this important agreement and ensure full compliance in the months ahead.”
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