Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Judge urged to not block ELL changes

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

PHOENIX – State officials on Thursday asked a federal judge to postpone or deny a request to prohibit initiating state orders on the instruction of students learning English.

Those suing in a class action challenging the adequacy of Arizona’s English language learning programs asked the judge earlier this month to order the state to provide adequate funding for newly required instruction models and to prohibit requiring school districts to use the models in the meantime.

The state is providing school districts and charter schools with $40.6 million of additional funding to begin the orders, which include a requirement for four-hour daily periods of English instruction for the 138,000 students in the state.

Schools districts said they need about $275 million.

A response filed Thursday on behalf of the state acknowledged that the plaintiffs have raised legal issues covered by previous court orders in the case.

But U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins in Tucson should not block implementation of the models without first considering the issues and what should be done about them, said the state’s response.

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