An Education Commission of the States report outlines each state's funding mechanism for ELLs, along with differences in dollar amounts and teacher allocations across the states.
The guidance comes on the heels of the recent 40th anniversaries of Lau v. Nichols, a landmark Supreme Court decision, and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, both of which expanded rights of students with limited English proficiency.
Former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal deemed several courses illegal during his final hours in office, leaving one of the state's largest school districts facing a possible funding loss of $14 million annually.
Federal officials granted the state's request to give its English-language learners two years in a U.S. school before counting their test scores in school grades.
Many students struggle to learn English because schools fail to monitor their progress, adequately train teachers or provide appropriate curriculum.
New policy prohibits schools from asking about the immigration status of students or their families during the enrollment process and provides guidance on the range of documents students may use to prove residency.
The report authors contend that most English-language proficiency assessments focus on students' knowledge about English rather than their ability to use the language effectively in school.
Arabic classes have failed to become a common offering in U.S. public schools despite a 2006 initiative by former President George W. Bush to increase the number of U.S. citizens learning, speaking and teaching the language.
The nation's second largest district said it will assist students and families in accessing school records they will need to apply for deportation relief promised by President Obama's executive action on immigration.
The Prince George's County, Md., NAACP chapter questions whether the local district's plans for ELL students run counter to Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 decision that declared that separate public schools for black and white students violated the Constitution.