Compensatory Education Is Available to English Language Learners Under the EEOA
Alabama Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review, Vol. 9, 2018
36 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2017 Last revised: 7 Mar 2018
Date Written: 2018
The Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA) guarantees English Language Learners equal educational opportunities. That promise, however, has not been realized. One factor contributing to this failure appears to be that courts have yet to recognize the full scope of relief permitted by the EEOA. In particular, courts have not recognized that the EEOA permits awards of compensatory education — a powerful tool for remedying deficits that develop when a student’s educational rights are infringed. That the EEOA allows compensatory education awards is confirmed by (1) precedent awarding compensatory education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and (2) the EEOA’s school desegregation roots. Given the litigation history of the EEOA, courts’ delay in recognizing compensatory education is understandable. But moving forward, compensatory education should be a mainstay of EEOA litigation.
Keywords: education law, civil rights, English Language Learners
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