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Bilingual Education Timeline

The purpose of this page is to illustrate the path that bilingual education has taken through the U.S. system of education. Important legislation (dates of passage) as well as new discoveries related to the improvement bilingual education implementation are highlighted.

For more detailed Information on the Legislation highlighted on this page, Click Here.


  • 1906: The Nationality Act (Texas)


  • 1923: Meyer v. Nebraska


  • 1927: Farrington v. Tokushige


  • 1925: Pierce v. Society of Sisters


  • 1944: Mo Hock Ke Lok Po v. Stainback


  • 1954: Brown v. Board of Education


  • 1964: Civil Rights Act


  • 1965: Elementary and Secondary Education Act


  • Mid 1960's: Language legislation was given important support by President Johnson's “War on Poverty”.


  • 1967: 1st U.S. Senate Congressional hearing on bilingual education.


  • 1968: Bilingual Education Act (BEA)


  • 1974: Bilingual Education Act


  • 1974: Lau v. Nichols


  • 1974: Serna v. Portales Municipal Schools


  • 1975: Office of Civil Rights published the Lau Remedies.
    • Replaced by Lau Regulations at the end of the Carter Administration, which was withdrawn in 1981.


  • 1981: Senator S.I. Hayakawa introduced a constitutional amendment that made English the sole official language of the United States.
    • 1983: Hayakawa founds "U.S. English", a legislative organization.
    • By 1998, twenty-five states had made English their official language.


  • 1998: Ron Unz's Proposition 227 passed in California: the “English for the Children” initiative.


  • 1999: State initiative in Utah promotes English-only laws in the state government.


  • 2000: Proposition 203 passed in Arizona


  • 2001: The Colorado English for the Children Initiative


  • 2001: No Child Left Behind Act


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