Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

The United States during the 19th and 20th century began to become the land of opportunities. These opportunities also enticed many of immigrants to travel to the U.S. in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness (“History of ESL,” 2016). For many, they believed they would be leaving countries with unfair laws and unhealthy living conditions to provide a better life for their children. All to find out that this “American Dream” would come with more adjustments then they could have imagined. Many of these immigrants ended up in large overcrowded cities in low-income housing with other immigrants with similar hopes and dreams. Many hoped to maintain their own cultural traditions while integrating into their new lives in American.
However, with many different language barriers, this forms an inability for ELL children to learn in the local and community schools. To close the gaps in education among these students; the government was forced to implement programs that would be more accommodating to ELLs students entering into their classrooms. Over the years many cases have been filed due to the state’s ability to uphold their end of the deal. A small town called the Nogales, on the border of Mexico, also decided to stand up for their children’s education. In Horne vs. Flores, the state of Arizona, along with its state board of education, and the superintendent of public instruction was brought up on charges of alleged misallocation of funds when it came to special needs of Ell students. Before the Horne vs. Flores case, the state legislature passed the house bill 2064 in 2006, which increased ELL incremental funding (“HB2064 – 472R – House Bill Summary,” n.d.). These funds are to be allocated to schools in need of additional funds for assessments, recruitment of teachers who are trained in serving ELL students, specific staff training, and specialized materials.
The supreme courts found the state of Arizona in violation of the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (“HORNE v. FLORES,” n.d.) despite Tom Horne the superintendent’s efforts and claims of how the state made considerably changed its Ell’s programs, placed more funding in that area, decrease in classroom size as well as changing their model from bilingual education to structured English immersion. Although this case was sent to the Supreme Courts it was returned to the lower courts as the Supreme Court agreed with the state of Arizona that the federal government should not be supervising how the state’s makes disbursements when it comes to ELL students. This ruling was a major upset for the state of Arizona as it doesn’t present any contributions to the academic success of ELL students.
Instead, it created a bigger gap in the learning environment for these students. The decision greatly increases the barriers for Latino and other language minority students in obtaining resources for their children’s education and the ruling also narrows the meaning of the Equal Educational Opportunity Act (“Horne v. Flores: Statement on the Decision of the U.S. Supreme Court — The Civil Rights Project at UCLA,” 2010). This case did not end in a celebration or even a step in the right direction. Instead, it reviled a system that found a way to back out of the laws put in place to protect and serve the people.

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