Feds End Jefferson Parish School Discrimination Probe

Jul 10, 2014

Jefferson Parish public schools have agreed to make changes to end a federal investigation into discrimination against English-language learners. The U.S. Department of Justice brokered the agreement, along with the Department of Education. 

Jessica Williams is an education reporter at NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune. She says the agreement requires that Jefferson parish make a number of changes.

"Now, they have to have translators and interpreters, making sure they're providing translation services to families and to students that can't understand or speak English," Williams says.

"Another thing that Jefferson Parish now has to do is revise its policies to make sure that they're not asking for materials from students in order to register that would prove citizenship; that they did not have to require a Social Security card or a state ID in order for the student to enroll in school or to graduate."

The investigation was launched after the Southern Poverty Law Center filed two complaints alleging that Jefferson failed to provide needed services for students struggling to learn English.