Judge upholds state education programs for bilingual students

Staff Report

The Associated Press

AUSTIN (AP) - A federal judge ruled today that Texas' bilingual programs for students who speak limited English complies with federal law.

That's a setback for leading Hispanic groups requesting the state improve such programs.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice means public schools can continue to educate the state's 712,000 students with limited English proficiency the same way they have been.

The judge says low test scores and high dropout rates among Hispanics cannot be linked to the state's bilingual and English as a Second Language programs.

The League of United Latin American Citizens and G-I Forum filed a petition last year asking the judge to force Texas to improve education programs for limited-English students. They represent about 16 percent of public school students in the state.