Florence school district to address discrimination allegations
Associated Press

Tucson, Arizona | Published: http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/175522.php

MESA - The Florence Unified School District has entered into a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to address allegations that the district discriminates against English language learners. The agreement was signed last week by representatives from the district and the department's Office of Civil Rights.
It requires the district to submit a draft plan for addressing the allegations by June 15 and implement its plan by Jan. 15, 2008.
Under investigation are allegations that the district discriminates against limited-English proficient students by not providing them services necessary to participate meaningfully in their education; that the district does not communicate with limited-English proficient parents about school-related matters in a language they understand; and that the district does not ensure that students are not placed in special education based on their limited English skills.
District administrators declined to comment Monday because the agreement had not yet been discussed with interim Superintendent Gary Nine. Under the agreement, the district's plan has to include procedures to ensure ELL students are identified at each school and placed into appropriate programs and the district has to provide sufficient staffing and instructional materials.