PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Federal justice officials say the Providence school district had failed its English learning student population for years.

The Boston Globe reports it received a letter sent to the city by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in 2018, stating the district was setting up English learning students "to struggle and too often, to fail."

The letter says parents were improperly counseled to waive their child's right to English language programs.

After receiving the letter, the city announced it was overhauling its programs and hiring more teachers certified to teach those students.

A city spokeswoman declined to comment on the letter, but referenced a settlement Providence entered into with the Justice Department last year to make sweeping changes and identify students in need of language services.

The state is taking control of the struggling district.

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