Arizona judge throws out English learners case, says State no longer violating federal law

PHOENIX - A federal judge has ruled that Arizona lawmakers have made vast gains in teaching foreign students English and the state is no longer violating a federal law requiring states to overcome language barriers in schools.

U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins issued the ruling favoring state officials Friday in a decades-old court fight over adequate instruction for students learning English.

Collins' ruling states the case originally filed in 1992 on behalf of children and parents in the Nogales School District no longer has statewide reach because Arizona's English language program varies from county to county.

In previous rulings, federal judges ordered increased spending for students learning English.

But a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2009 said the state's overhauled education policies were entitled to a fresh legal review.

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