Legal Requirements for Communicating in Parents’ Primary Language

Tuesday February 9, 2021
12:45 - 1:45 PM
Lecture 2

All schools and school districts have a Civil Rights obligation to communicate to parents in a language they understand. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) explains that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act is violated if “parents whose English is limited do not receive school notices and other information in a language they can understand.” Districts that receive federal funding from the ESEA (ESSA) have required notifications that must be sent to parents. In multiple places, ESSA indicates that these written notifications must, “to the extent practicable,” be provided in a language that parents can understand. This presentation will help educators understand the legal requirements associated with providing communications to parents in a language they understand as outlined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, associated case law and guidance, and by ESSA to ensure meaningful, equitable communication to parents of all backgrounds.

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