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Wake County school system announces settlement of federal civil rights complaint

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The Wake County school system announced today it's settled a federal civil rights complaint that alleged it discriminated against some Latino students by not providing their parents with Spanish translations of important documents.

Wake says that it reached a voluntary resolution with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights that will result in enhanced language assistance for parents with limited English proficiency. The complaint was filed in June by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Advocates for Children's Services.

Enhancements to the access of language assistance services include:

* The collection of data, through Home Language Surveys and other measures, to identify parents with limited English proficiency, and which languages they speak;

* Greater communication about the availability of free translation and interpretation services, including the establishment of a phone line operated by fluent Spanish-speaking staff to respond to requests for language assistance;

* The availability of updated rosters of parents who have limited English proficiency for teachers and school staff;

* Dozens of educational documents that have been translated to additional languages

The continued availability of interpreters for parent meetings, including those regarding Individualized Education Programs (IEP) and assistance for Students with Disabilities (Section 504).

All language services will be provided by qualified translators and interpreters in person and telephonically. These functions will be managed by the Office of Translation and Interpretation Services.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.