The Education Equity Act is desperately needed in New York City because so many parents do not speak English well, and one of the easiest steps to make towards improving education is to promote real parent involvement. But it's pretty hard to tell immigrant parents to be involved if the school can't (or doesn't bother to) provide translation at parent-teacher conferences and PTA meetings, or doesn't translate report cards or other school documents for parents.
Here is New York Sun write up of the protest:
IMMIGRANT STUDENTS PROTEST SCHOOL LANGUAGE BARRIERS
About 40 students from immigrant families gathered on the steps of City Hall yesterday afternoon to protest school language barriers they say prevent their non-English-reading parents from being involved in their educations.The protesters called for the adoption of Intro. 464, which would require the city's Department of Education to make documents intended for parents available in the nine most common languages spoken in New York City and develop an interpretation system for meetings and events. According to the New York Immigration Coalition, 50% of public school parents require translation and interpretation assistance.
A lot of ethnic media were on hand, and here is a good, long article (in Spanish) from El Diario.