The decade of the 1990s: the lost years of opportunity for North Carolina’s ESL students Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Shofer, Sharon LaBurt
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • Beginning in the 1980s, but gaining momentum in the 1990s, North Carolina's k-12 schools experienced a dramatic increase in the number of limited English proficient (LEP) students enrolling in schools across the state. Largely due to the unprecedented number of Latinos migrating to the state, the schools reflected the demographic patterns of this new population. Unaccustomed to linguistic diversity, the state's k-12 school systems struggled academically and economically with the new and novel demands placed on them by not only a desire to educate their LEP students, but by federal mandate. Looking to the North Carolina General Assembly for funding, k-12 school systems were denied any relief until 1999. In failing to acknowledge the looming educational crisis, politicians in the state effectively lost a decade of opportunity to fund effective English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for this new population. This lost decade of opportunity to fund ESL programs would result in negative consequences for the state's LEP k-12 students, local education agencies, and potentially North Carolina as a whole.
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  • Stone, Lynda
  • Open access

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