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March 4 Deadline on ELLs Looms Over Arizona Legislature

On Friday, a federal appeals panel upheld a ruling by U.S. District Judge Raner Collins of Tucson, Ariz., that the Arizona legislature must come up with a workable plan to pay for the education of English-language learners by March 4.

The Arizona Republic reports in a Feb. 23 article that the panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed that a 2006 law doesn't comply with previous U.S. District Court rulings that require adequate funds for Arizona's English-language learners.

Judge Marsha S. Berzon, one of the three judges on the court of appeals panel, noted in the panel's ruling that the case has been in the courts "longer than it takes a student to go from kindergarten to college."

This isn't the first wry comment a judge who reviewed this court case has made. At a Dec. 5 hearing, Judge Betty Binns Fletcher, an appeals court judge, suggested that if Israel and Palestine can agree to sit down and talk, maybe the parties involved in the ELL case can do the same. See "Arizona Case Moves to Federal Appeals Court."

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