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Lau Plan Requirement

The Lau Plan is so named because of the seminal case of the 1974 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lau v. Nichols and is civil right requirement for all school districts regardless of English learner or Immigrant student enrollment.

A Lau Plan is required of both public and nonpublic accredited districts in accordance with Title III of the ESEA (PL 107-110) and federal civil rights law, as well as Iowa Code 280.4 and Iowa Code 216.9.

Regardless of whether a district has identified English Learners (referred to as LEP in state and federal code) or immigrant student enrollment, the law requires the development of a plan to address the specific language instruction education needs should it become necessary to provide such services. The district should review and revise the Lau Plan on an annual basis to ensure adequate preparation of all educational personnel to meet the unique needs of diverse language learners.

On an annual basis, districts and accredited nonpublic schools must involve representatives from all stakeholder groups to review and make any necessary revisions to the district's Lau Plan. In all cases, the Lau Plan should be made publicly available and understood by all staff who work with English Learner students.