ERIC Number: ED457278
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Limited-English-Proficient Students in Maine: An Assessment of Equal Educational Opportunities.
Serpa, Fernando A.
This study evaluated equal educational opportunities available to Maine's language minority students, using information from four 1997 fact-finding meetings that included representatives from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, local school superintendents, English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and professionals, community advocates, and limited English proficient (LEP) students and their parents. Overall, Maine's school districts were required to use local funds to provide ESL instruction. They did not receive any appropriations from the state budget for ESL, nor were they reimbursed by the state for expenses incurred in providing resources to LEP students. Qualified ESL teachers were in short supply, and the state's stringent and inflexible requirements discouraged many otherwise qualified teachers from obtaining ESL certification. The state department did not routinely monitor school districts' Lau plan (educational programs for limited English proficient students) compliance or sanction those not in compliance. Many schools and communities did not meet LEP students' cultural needs, and some schools worked to minimize or eliminate LEP students' cultures and languages. The Maine legislature was uninformed, and in some cases hostile, to the concerns of LEP students and had not enacted several bills designed to benefit LEP students. Recommendations for action are presented. (SM)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Bilingual Students, Diversity (Student), Educational Finance, Educational Legislation, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Equal Education, Language Minorities, Language Teachers, Limited English Speaking, Minority Group Children, Public Schools
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Eastern Regional Office, 624 9th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20425. Tel: 202-376-8110.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Maine Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Augusta.
Identifiers - Location: Maine