Salt Lake City School District (UT): In August 2016, OCR resolved this complaint alleging that the district discriminated on the bases of national origin and disability. Specifically, the complainant alleged that the district discriminated against EL students at a middle school by implementing policies and procedures that do not consider language in the special education evaluation and placement processes, thereby resulting in an overrepresentation of the students in special education. During the investigation, staff acknowledged the use of the phrase “special education trumps EL services” by some district staff, and that some EL students with disabilities were not provided EL and special education services. OCR also had concerns that special education-related matters were not consistently interpreted or translated for EL parents, that the district’s EL policies and procedures include a process for early exiting of students from EL services despite their not being proficient in the four English skill areas, and that several EL students should have been but were not monitored following their exit from the EL program. To resolve the complaint, the district entered into a resolution agreement committing the district to update its policies and procedures regarding the evaluation and placement of EL students to ensure that EL students are not overrepresented in special education and are not placed in special education solely based on English language ability; evaluate whether EL students already receiving special education have been appropriately placed in special education and, if not, return them to the regular education setting; ensure that EL students with disabilities who did not receive appropriate instruction from qualified teachers are assessed for and receive compensatory services; ensure meaningful communication with parents, especially with limited English proficient (LEP) parents related to special education matters; and review its EL plan to ensure that students are not exited from the EL program prematurely.
Read the Resolution Agreement PDF (133.63K)