A message from Roger Rice of Multicultural Education Training and Advocacy (META): “Dear Teacher of students in the SLIFE program, It has been brought to our attention that some representatives of the OEL Department may have advised SLIFE teachers that where a SLIFE student is also a student with significant disabilities ‘Sped trumps ELD and SLIFE’ and hence the student should be removed from SLIFE and specialized home language literacy and content instruction and placed instead in an English only program providing special education to students with disabilities.
“In our view such advice is wrong and conflicts with the federal court order that governs the rights of students in the SLIFE program. Simply put those students are entitled to specialized literacy and content instruction in their native languages. If the student also needs special education services to address his/her disability, such specialized instruction must be incorporated into the SLIFE student’s program. There is no basis for advice that ‘special ed trumps ELD/SLIFE’ or that English-only instruction is appropriate for this particularly vulnerable student population.
“While we will work with OEL to mitigate any more confusion going forward, we want all teachers of SLIFE students to be alerted to this issue as soon as possible so that students are not wrongly removed from the SLIFE program in the meantime and deprived of home language services critical to their learning.”
Please follow up with Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.