Rights of English Language Learners

The obligation not to discriminate based on race, color, or national origin requires public schools to take affirmative steps to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) students, now more commonly known as known as English Learner (EL) students or English Language Learners (ELLs), can meaningfully participate in educational programs and services, and to communicate information to LEP parents in a language they can understand.

Federal Law & Regulations

Schools' Civil Rights Obligations to English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents (US Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights)

  • Fact sheets for students and parents in English and other languages
    • Ensuring English Learner Students Can Participate Meaningfully and Equally in Educational Programs (Jan. 2015) 
    • Information for Limited English Proficient Parents and for Schools and School Districts that Communicate with Them (Jan. 2015)
  • Materials for educational officials: OCR materials, self-evaluation materials and enforcement activities
Massachusetts State Law & Regulations

English Language Learners (Massachusetts Department of Education)

  • Guidance on Identification, Assessment, Placement, and Reclassification of English Language Learners
  • Massachusetts Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) Definition and Guidance
  • Guidance for Defining and Implementing Two Way Immersion and Transitional Bilingual Education Programs
  • Next Generation ESL Curriculum Project: ESL Curriculum Resource Guide