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Bilingual instruction mandated in Texas schools


On this day in 1973, Governor Dolph Briscoe signed into law the Bilingual Education and Training Act. The bill required that all Texas elementary public schools enrolling twenty or more children of limited English ability must provide bilingual instruction. Previously, the Texas Department of Education had told Spanish-speaking parents that their children must learn the English language. After a court case, United States v. Texas (1981), found "pervasive, intentional discrimination" against Mexican Americans, the Texas legislature began permitting bilingual instruction when such instruction was educationally advantageous to pupils. The 1973 bill supplanted the permissive standard by a mandate.

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