English language limitations and national origin discrimination.
It is an unfair practice for public and private schools to fail or refuse to provide equal educational opportunity to children who are deficient in English language skills because of their national origin. Schools attended by such children shall meet the following standards:
(1) Where inability to speak and understand the English language excludes children based on national origin from effective participation, the district must take steps to ensure all programs and activities do not bar such students from fully participating.
(2) The steps taken under part (1) shall build competency in the English language without detriment to the children's skills in other languages, and without impairing or suppressing the children's cultural identity and heritage. The steps may include bilingual education. The appropriateness of particular steps to be taken will depend in part on the number of children who require this service.
(3) Students who are deficient in English language skills because of their national origin must not be assigned to special education classes for students with mental or other disabilities solely on the basis of criteria which essentially measure or evaluate English language skills; nor may school districts deny children based on their national origin access to college preparatory courses on a basis directly related to the failure of the school system to address English language deficiencies.
(4) Any ability grouping or tracking system employed by the school system to deal with the special language skill needs of children based on their national origin must be designed to meet such language skill needs as soon as possible and must not operate as an educational deadend or permanent track.
(5) School districts have the responsibility to adequately notify parents, regardless of their national origin, of school activities which are called to the attention of other parents. In order to be adequate, such notice may have to be provided in a language other than English.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.60.120
(3). WSR 00-01-177, § 162-28-040, filed 12/21/99, effective 1/21/00; Order 17, § 162-28-040, filed 6/28/74.]