Washington D.C. School District Takes Aim at Language and Cultural Education
Washington D.C.s Language Access Act
In 2004, the Washington D.C. enacted the Language Access Act. The Act was created in order to grant greater access to and participation in public schools and other public services for those residents that have limited or no English proficiency. The Act is designed to address four crucial areas of language use and access to public services. These four areas are: the need for and the offering of oral language services; providing of written translation of key documents into other languages that have populations constitutes 3% or 500 individuals, whichever is less, of the population served or encountered, or likely to be served or encountered; establishment of language access plans that best services these populations; and finally creating language access coordination. The District of Columbia is focusing at this time on these five languages; Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Amharic. As a public service the Washington D.C. School District has also made steps to provide adjustments in its language and cultural education programs.