I. Federal Policies
Title VI, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq. was enacted as part of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin by recipients of federal financial assistance. The Title VI regulatory requirements have been interpreted to prohibit denial of equal access to education because of a language minority student’s limited proficiency in English.
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the need for school districts to take steps to help limited-English proficient (LEP) students overcome language barriers and to ensure that they can participate meaningfully in the district’s educational programs.
The Court ruled that school districts must provide special services to English Language Learners (ELLs) so that they have equal educational opportunities. ELLs need language programs that allow them to progress academically while they acquire English language skills. There are several different program models; however, all include both academic content and English language development.
Castaneda requires programs that educate children with limited English proficiency to be i. Based on Sound educational theory; ii. Adequately supported, with adequate and effective staff and resources, so that the program has a realistic chance of success; and iii. Periodically evaluated and, if necessary revisited.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from denying a free public education to undocumented immigrant children. Public schools and school personnel are prohibited from adopting policies of taking actions that would deny students access to education based on their immigration status.
For the LeGare Advocacy Process, ELs Rostering Guidelines and more procedures:
II. State Policies
The purpose of this circular is to provide local education agencies (LEAs), such as The School District of Philadelphia, with requirements and interpretations of the legal mandates governing the education of students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), also known as English Learners (ELs).
Refer to this circular to learn more about the enrollment process. On page 3, you can find the items which may not be requested (as a social security number, a child’s or parent’s visa, or agency records). A child’s right to be admitted to school may not be conditioned on the child’s immigration status. A school may not inquire regarding the immigration status of a student as part of the admissions process.
III. Local Policies
1. Policy 138 – English Language Development/Bilingual Education Program and Administrative Procedures
To provide a quality educational program for all students, the School District of Philadelphia shall provide a culturally and linguistically appropriate planned instructional program for English Learners (ELs), which builds on students’ home language and culture. The goal of the program shall be to ensure ELs at all levels of language proficiency can access grade-level academic content standards while developing advanced levels of English with support for students’ integration and participation in the community. (Adopted January 18, 2018).
2. Policy 102
It is a policy of the School District of Philadelphia to foster knowledge of, and to respect, those of all races, ethnic groups, social classes, genders, religions, disabilities, sexual orientations (perceived or known) and gender identities (perceived or known).