20,000 Students Sue California Educators for Failing to Provide Proper English-Language Instruction

A new lawsuit, recently filed in California on behalf of 20,000 public school students, charges that the state's educators are failing to provide adequate English training to non-English speaking students.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the state and alleges that education workers are not providing adequate English-language instruction, leaving their students at an disadvantage.

Both state and federal laws mandate that schools must provide English-language instruction to non-English speaking students, but it is alleged that California's education records show around 20,000 students are not receiving proper English instruction.

The lawsuit cites that as a result of this lack of instruction some students are held back a grade or will be pushed through the system with a lack of proficiency in English.

The ACLU sent a letter to states educators at the beginning of the year to address the problem and school officials contend that they are looking how to correct the problem.

Attorney Mark Rosenbaum charges that while students continue to be left behind, the school districts are still collecting federal dollars to provide English instruction to those students.

"These kids are not getting the differentiated learning they're supposed to be getting," Rosenbaum told AP.

Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, Richard Zeiger, has said in a statement that the state is committed to providing non-English speaking students the proper instruction and also encouraged parents to voice any problems they may have.

"The Department will continue to work with local agencies to ensure compliance with districts' obligations to provide services to English learners," Zeiger said.

The lawsuit highlights an example of a student described as an English learner, who was removed from English language classes that resulted in a steep drop in the student's grades. It claims the student had trouble understanding instructions.