Justice Department agrees to provide K’iche’ speakers similar educational opportunities

Justice Department agrees to provide K’iche’ speakers similar educational opportunities

Today, the Justice Department announced that it had reached a settlement with the New Bedford Public Schools to end its investigation into the district’s procedures for interacting with parents and guardians who could not speak English as their first language, including those who spoke the Indigenous Mayan language K’iche.

The district will take several precautions, such as accurately identifying the languages that kids, parents, and guardians speak, so that school personnel won’t presume that K’iche’ speakers are natural Spanish speakers based only on their place of origin.

In order for English learner kids who speak K’iche’ to have access to the same educational opportunities as other students in the district, the district has also committed to improving its procedures and professional development.

According to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, “students and families from Indigenous Maya communities often confront particular impediments to accessing educational opportunities.”

“With the help of this comprehensive agreement, the district will be able to identify and meet the needs of the sizable number of K’iche’-speaking pupils it serves, as well as provide parents the freedom to be actively involved in their children’s education.

The Civil Rights Division is dedicated to upholding every child’s constitutional right to an equal opportunity to attend school.

The deal is a consequence of the department’s Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 inquiry, which began in 2020.

The district committed to enhancing its programmes via modified procedures and professional development and cooperated throughout all phases of the study.

The Justice Department will oversee the district’s compliance with its responsibilities under the settlement agreement for at least three complete school years.

The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department has made the implementation of the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 one of its main priorities. On its website, www.justice.gov/crt, the Civil Rights Division provides further information.

»Justice Department agrees to provide K’iche’ speakers similar educational opportunities«

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