The following are state and federal laws addressing English as a Second Language (ESL) Education:
Bilingual Education Act (1968) Congress legislated the Bilingual Education Act of 1968 in order to mandate schools to provide bilingual education programs. This was the first time congress had endorsed funding for bilingual education. The Bilingual Program was a federally funded program through Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, with the revision of Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994.
Castaneda v. Picard (648 F.2n.989, 1981) The Court of Appeals articulated a three-part test for assessing a school system’s treatment of limited English proficient students. The standard requires (1) a sound approach to the education of these students, (2) reasonable implementation of the approach, and (3) outcomes reflecting that the approach is working.
Plyer vs. Doe (102 S. Ct. 2382, 1982) The United States Supreme Court stated that school systems must enroll and educate children residing in their district even if their parents do not possess legal residency documents.
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Signed by President Obama in 2015, includes important policies that recognize the needs and diversity of English Learners (ELs) in an effort to close the ongoing achievement gap between them and other students. The bill, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also crucially maintains accountability for how ELs are, known as the No Child Left Behind Act.
The Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Office for Civil Rights does not prescribe a specific program design/educational approach. It is the district’s responsibility to ensure that the educational approach selected addresses:
● How the district provides for English Language Development (ELD)
● How the district provides access to core content programming for ELs (CCP)