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Parents Lying on School Forms in California

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John Riggs / Townsquare Media

When Nieves Garcia signed up her bilingual daughter for kindergarten, she wrote down that her family only spoke English at home.

Garcia and other parents acknowledge lying on a home language survey required to enroll their children in public school to avoid having their kids classified as English learners. It happens especially when kids’ English skills appear better than their ability to speak their parents’ or grandparents’ native tongue.

California education officials say it’s tough to know how many parents lie on the forms but believe the numbers are low since non-English-speaking parents can’t hide that another language is spoken.

Education officials say California plans to roll out a new English language proficiency test in 2016, and is also considering changing the survey amid a growing number of bilingual children.

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