The school-age population in North America is characterized by increasing linguistic, cultural, and ethnic diversity. The authors argue that non-mainstream students do not perform as well in schools as mainstream students (predominantly whilte, middle-class English speakers) because they are not equitably served by the educational system. They explore some of the complexities of educational equity and consider equity issues in the literacy education of language minority students from four different perspectives: individual student characteristics, sociocultural factors, language issues, and instructional issues. In support of their position, they examine each of these areas in turn, providing illustrations and analysis. They conclude with several principles upon which to build practices to make literacy education more equitable for all students.