Legislation and Federal Policy for CLDE Learners By: Molly Thompson

Equal Protection Clause of 14th Amendment (1868): This helped to clarify aspects of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and it states that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction "the equal protection of the laws”. This clause helped support the Brown vs. Board of Education case that separate is not equal.

The Equal Protection Clause has helped to establish a quality education for all students in our public schools and was influential in the iconic Brown vs. Board of education case that helped to further integrate our public schools.

National Defense of Education Act (1958):This Act was signed into law by Eisenhower and is a major act of reform because it began the large scale involvement of the federal government in education. In this Act the federal government provides funding to improve schools and promote post secondary education.

Since this Act was established, schools have received various amounts of federal funding for a variety of programs and to increase overall achievement and increase the number of students attending college.

Civil Rights Act (1964): Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in the operation of all federally assisted programs.

The Civil Rights Act has provided assistant and support to all students in our public schools so that they can receive a quality education.

The Bilingual Education Act(1968): Around the time of the Civil Rights movement people became more concerned about the needs of the rapidly growing language minority students People noticed a gap in acquired education between whites and Hispanics. Senator Ralph Yarborough of Texas introduced a bill to provide federal funding for school districts to support bilingual education programs. This bill become the 1968 Bilingual Education Act. It initially provided grants to schools districts and other eligible entities through a competitive grant process. There was little agreement on the purpose and goals of this act and since 1968 the ESEA has undergone six re-authorizations.

This Act has helped NEP and LEP students achieve English fluency in the classroom by expanding programs to support these students and providing more professional development across the country. It also helped change the public's view on bilingual education.

Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974: This Act prohibits states from denying equal educational opportunity to an individual on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin. It specifically prohibits states from denying equal educational opportunity by the failure of an educational agency to take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation by its students in its instructional programs.

This made the schools responsible for providing quality instruction that meets the need of ELLs in the classroom and forces them to help close the achievement gap between monolingual speakers and ELLs.

Lau v Nichols;(1974): This suit by Chinese parents in San Francisco leads to the ruling that identical education does not constitute equal education under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. School districts must take affirmative steps to overcome educational barriers faced by non-English speakers. This ruling established that the Office for Civil Rights, under the former Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, has the authority to establish regulations for Title VI enforcement.

Castaneda v Pickard(1981): Reputed to be the most significant court decision affecting language minority students after Lau. In responding to the plaintiffs' claim that Raymondville, Texas Independent School District's language remediation programs violated the Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA) of 1974, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals formulated a set of basic standards to determine school district compliance with EEOA.

Plyler v Doe.(1982): Under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the state does not have the right to deny a free public education to undocumented immigrant children.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (and NCLB); (2001): The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 appropriates funds to states to improve the education of limited English proficient students by assisting children to learn English and meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards. Legislation for limited English proficient students is found under Title III of NCLB.

Title III of NCLB provides assistance to schools with a large number of ELL students by providing programs or resources to help close the achievement gap.


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