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So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

ACLU sues Central Valley school district, says they're failing English as a second language students

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The American Civil Liberties Union announced a lawsuit Wednesday against the Central Valley's Dinuba Unified School District, claiming the district is failing its non-English-speaking students.

About a quarter of California’s students spend time during the day on an English Learner curriculum because they speak another language at home. The ACLU claims the program the Central Valley’s Dinuba Unified School District uses is so flawed, it’s leading kids to academic failure and lifelong despair.

Mark Rosenbaum of Southern California's ACLU said Dinuba’s case is unique, but he’s fielded complaints from enough Southland schools to suggest a systemic problem.

"The state has a statewide crisis," said Rosenbaum. "Both in terms of introducing English to kids and the huge number of long-term English Learners, meaning that kids are stuck trying to learn English for six years or more."

Los Angeles Unified is overhauling its English Learner program after a federal Department of Education investigation.

In Sacramento, a couple of state bills seek changes that would speed students’ transition into standard classes.

Correction: This story initially misidentified the English Learner program as ESL (English as a Second Language).

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