KUNM

English Language Learners

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A prominent New Mexico lawmaker threatened to shut the public out of a legislative committee meeting concerning a landmark education lawsuit after journalists brought recording equipment.

Courtesy of VCINM

When a hospital or doctor’s office sees a patient who doesn’t speak English, federal law requires the institution to hire an interpreter. But the need for professional language services in New Mexico far exceeds the supply. An Albuquerque organization, Valley Community Interpreters (VCI), is hoping to change that.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Dozens of refugee families resettle in Albuquerque each year, and their children begin attending school here. In mid-August, Albuquerque Public Schools is slated to launch a program for newcomers, but immigrant advocates say it’s been planned poorly and will be hard to access. For many refugee families, getting transportation to a special school outside their neighborhood is nearly impossible. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

New Mexico’s Public Education Department is planning to appeal a court ruling last month that found the state violated the rights of at-risk students by failing to provide an adequate education. Judge Sarah Singleton’s decision doesn’t tell the department exactly what changes to make but says it must do better by its low-income students, Native American students, those with disabilities and English-language learners.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools plans to open a new program next month for students who don’t speak English and have little to no prior formal schooling. But some say that program is set up for failure. Dozens of advocates and students gathered Monday evening in Albuquerque’s South Valley to call for more transparency and accountability in the way APS designs educational services for immigrant and refugee children.  

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The state of New Mexico has violated students’ constitutional rights by failing to provide an adequate public education, according to a landmark decision handed down late Friday by a New Mexico District Court judge.

La Veu del País Valencià via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A state court ruled Friday that New Mexico’s education system fails to provide an adequate education to at-risk students, as required by the state’s constitution. In her ruling, Judge Sarah Singleton outlined the harm done to economically disadvantaged students, Native American students, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities. 

KUNM's Hannah Colton spoke with staff attorney Ernest Herrera of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, who’s been working the case for years.