ELL Laws & Regulations

The education of English language learners (ELLs) is impacted by policies at the federal, state, and local level.  For more information about the federal laws and guidelines, see the following resources and our page on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (formerly No Child Left Behind).  For information about state policies, see our state resources section.

Educational Services for Immigrant Children: What Schools Need to Know

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released fact sheets, FAQs, and enrollment guidance related to the educational services for immigrant children and families in January 2015. These fact sheets (also available in Spanish) and the Civil Rights information below provide a summary of what schools need to know.

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Schools' Civil Rights Obligations to English Learner Students and Parents


Welcoming a student

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released guidance in January 2015 reminding states, school districts, and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that ELLs have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential.

These guidelines include the following, and translations of the fact sheets are available below:

  • Dear Colleague Letter: English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents
  • Fact Sheet #1: Ensuring English Learner Students Can Participate Meaningfully and Equally in Educational Programs
  • Fact Sheet #2: Information for Limited English Proficient Parents and for Schools and School Districts that Communicate with Them

For additional materials and guidelines, see the Office of Civil Rights website.

Translation of Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet #1: Ensuring English Learner Students Can Participate Meaningfully and Equally in Educational Programs

Fact Sheet #2: Information for Limited English Proficient Parents and for Schools and School Districts that Communicate with Them

ELLs and Discrimination Law

Both the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) address discrimination against ELLs in their legislation and investigations. For more information, see the following websites: