Charleston County School District Agrees to Provide Language Access for Limited English Proficient Parents
Settlement Agreement Will Advance Equal Educational Opportunities for Students
(STL.News) Today the Justice Department announced a settlement agreement with the Charleston County School District to resolve its investigation into complaints that the school district failed to communicate essential information to thousands of Spanish-speaking, limited English proficient (LEP) parents, denying their children full and equal access to the district’s education programs and services. The Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina conducted the investigation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974.
The United States’ investigation found that the district often fails to use qualified interpreters to communicate with Spanish-speaking, LEP parents and guardians, even when their need for an interpreter is documented or otherwise evident. The United States also found that the district does not consistently translate essential written information into Spanish, and asks parents who can only communicate in Spanish to make important decisions about school programs and services without explaining the options in a language they understand.
“Empowering parents and guardians with the information necessary to meaningfully participate in their children’s education is critical to students’ success in school and beyond.