United States Reaches Settlement with Stamford Public Schools to Ensure Equal Opportunities for English Language Learner Students
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut announced that they have entered into a comprehensive settlement agreement with the Stamford Public School District in Stamford, Conn., that requires the district to provide language services and other supports to the more than 2,000 English Language Learner (ELL) students enrolled in the district’s 20 schools. The agreement stems from the United States’ compliance review of the district’s ELL program under the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974.
The agreement requires the district to implement wide-ranging measures to ensure that ELL students have equal opportunities to succeed academically in its educational programs, beginning with the proper identification and placement of ELL students when they enroll in the system. Among other requirements, the agreement requires the district to: provide language acquisition services to all ELL students until they reach the state’s English proficiency criteria; ensure that teachers of ELL students are qualified to provide these services; obtain adequate materials for ELL students; monitor students after they exit ELL services to ensure they are participating meaningfully and equally in general education classes; and make appropriate language services available for ELL students with disabilities.
“Today, the Stamford Public Schools undertook a significant step toward ensuring the success of every student from the beginning of his or her school career in the district,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Jocelyn Samuels. “Faithful implementation of this settlement agreement will ensure that ELL students, like all district students, have access to qualified teachers, instruction designed to impart the necessary English language skills, and dedicated resources to meet ELL students’ particular learning needs. We applaud the school district for working collaboratively with the United States to develop the comprehensive plan reflected in this agreement.”
“By entering into this agreement, the Stamford public school system has reaffirmed its mission to provide all of our children with the equal opportunity to become productive citizens, regardless of their proficiency in English," said U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly for the District of Connecticut. "This settlement agreement creates a roadmap for all Connecticut schools that provides a comprehensive plan to effectively serve all students who are not yet proficient in English. We thank Stamford for working with the Justice Department to achieve this positive and hopeful result."
The enforcement of the Equal Educational Opportunities Act is a top priority of the Civil Rights Division. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available on the division’s website .