What is the Latino Consent Decree?
The Latino Consent Decree (LCD) is a legally binding court order (consent decree) which the Saint Paul Public Schools entered into as part of the settlement of the federal court case of Garcia et al vs.Independent School District 625. The final stipulation for this case (1984) details the full range of responsibilities which the Saint Paul Public Schools has agreed to, regarding the education of Latino students who have limited English proficiency.
Approximately 4,194 students listed Spanish as their home language on the Home Language Questionnaire (2008-09). Of these, 3,757 are eligible for LCD services. These students have varying levels of proficiency in English and Spanish and can be broadly considered in three groups.
- First- or second-generation: In most cases, these students have received their education in English have receptive and oral language but have developed few if any literacy skills in Spanish.
- Third- or fourth-generation U.S.-born Hispanic/Latino:These students are English-dominant and understand almost all spoken Spanish,but they have limited speaking skills in Spanish and do not read or write it.
- Recent immigrants to the U.S. who are Spanish-dominant: Many students are completely fluent in oral Spanish (both speaking and comprehending); others speak and understand Spanish fairly well, while others possess only basic oral skills in Spanish.
The purpose of the Latino Consent Decree Program shall be to provide for the systematic development of basic cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills and to bring such Latino students enrolled in the St. Paul Public Schools to the educational performance level that is expected by the District of non-limited English-speaking students whose primary language is English, and to enable them to perform successfully to the extent of their ability in classes in which instruction is given only in English.
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