The Civil Rights Act (1964)

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not address bilingual education directly, but it opened an important door. Title VI of the Act specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. What this means, among other aspects, is that school districts that receive federal aid are required to ensure that minority students are getting the same access to programs as non-minorities. This minority group includes language minority (LM) students, defined as students who live in a home in which a language other than English is spoken. (Although some LM students are fluent in English, many are classified as LEP.) Title VI’s critical role in bilingualism would be made clear a decade later in the Lau v. Nichols case.

Inside The Civil Rights Act (1964)