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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Department of Justice Reaches Settlement with Clay County, Alabama School District to Ensure Equal Opportunities for English Language Learner Students

The Justice Department announced today a settlement agreement with the Clay County School District in Alabama. With the district’s cooperation the department conducted a compliance review of the district’s English Language Learner (ELL) program to determine whether the district’s ELL students were receiving services required by the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA).

The three-year settlement agreement will ensure that this rural district takes appropriate action to serve its small but growing population of ELL students, including: increasing services for ELL students, obtaining additional English as a Second Language-certified instructors, conducting significant professional development for teachers, providing adequate materials and classroom supports for ELL students, monitoring the academic performance of current and former ELL students and improving language-accessible communication with limited English proficient parents.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that all English language learners are provided the services they need to succeed, including in a small rural district like the Clay County School District,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “We applaud the Clay County School District’s decision to enter into this important agreement and look forward to continuing to work cooperatively with the district to address the diverse needs of its English language learners.”

The enforcement of the Equal Educational Opportunities Act is a top priority of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the EEOA. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is available on its website at www.justice.gov/crt .

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