Hearing begins on AZ programs for English learners

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- What could be a weekslong hearing on the adequacy of Arizona's school programs for students learning English has begun in federal court in Tucson.

U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins began the hearing Wednesday. At issue is whether the state is complying with federal requirements for equal opportunities in education.

One major point of contention in the case is whether it extends to schools statewide or just to those in the Nogales Unified School District.

Parents and students from that southern Arizona district sued back in 1992, and it's been up and down since then.

A judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in 2000 but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that the state is entitled to a new review based on current circumstances.