Texas Being Sued for Not Teaching English to Hispanic Learners
Advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit against Texas on Tuesday, alleging that Hispanic English language learners are having their civil rights violated by not receiving adequate instruction in high schools statewide.
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a 27-page complaint on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens in the Eastern District of Texas. It argues that the state is violating the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, which says no state can deny students educational opportunities by failing to “take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation” in instructional programs.
The suit singles out Southwest Independent School District and North East Independent School District, both in San Antonio, but alleges similar problems statewide.
“It could have been hundreds” of school districts, said David Hinojosa, MALDEF’s southwest regional counsel. “It would be an exception not to be sued.”
The suit alleges that English language learner programs are underfunded and poorly monitored, and that instructors are often not properly trained. Hinojosa said some programs feature “pullout” initiatives where students are removed from regular classes for a few hours for extra English instruction — only to be thrown back into full-emersion courses afterward.