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Feds say AZ violates rights of English learners

Federal investigators say the state is violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act by shortchanging thousands of students whose first language is not English.

Unless changes are made, the violations could lead to a loss of federal funding for state education.

The Arizona Republic reports one complaint alleges the Arizona Department of Education has reclassified “many thousands” of children as proficient in English even though tests indicate they aren’t.

The second complaint says federal departments found the state eliminated two questions from its home-language survey in 2009.

The result was that students who are eligible for English-language services “are not being served because they are not being identified.”

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