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Civil Rights Groups Sue State for Refusal to Identify Number of Students Struggling to Learn English

State law requires CDE to count how many long-term English learners are enrolled in each California public school and to report that number to local school districts. Twice this year, LCCR and Public Counsel requested the most recent reports for several Bay Area and Southern California school districts, including the nation's second-largest school district, Los Angeles Unified School District. On the first occasion, CDE refused to provide the information. CDE simply ignored the second request. Both actions violate state law. California's Public Records Act requires CDE to provide this information to the public upon request.

Parent groups use this data to monitor their school districts' English Language Development programs. "These data are vital to parents deciding which English programs are right for their children," said Gabriella Barbosa, Equal Justice Works Fellow at Public Counsel in Los Angeles. "We share these data with parent leaders to help them monitor district programs. Without it, parents and community members are unable to evaluate which English programs work and which ones are failing." LCCR and Public Counsel regularly work with parent and community groups to evaluate the quality of English Language Development programs throughout California.

In LCCR et al. v. California Department of Education, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR) and Public Counsel seek to enforce the California Public Records Act and obtain these records.

A copy of the writ petition is available here.

View the full press release.