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Could Seattle’s Mandarin immersion program be lost to budget cuts?

January 5, 2017

Seattle Public Schools are facing a $74 million shortfall next year. 

In a community forum on January 4, District Superintendent Larry Nyland said that certain programs may have to be cut.

None of the local papers seem to be writing about it, but the Seattle Schools Community Forum thankfully had someone there who posted this:

“He said beyond staff that things that are thought of as regular-type items in the district like “dual language and Options schools” might be on the chopping block.  I am baffled at this, both from a logistics point of view and given that the district has never really explained the extra expense from either type of program.”

You can read the full posting here.

Language immersion programs have been very popular in Seattle and have helped keep families in the district who otherwise might have left – a net gain in terms of funding.

They’re also not more expensive. In the comments period, one mom wrote:

The district can’t point to extra expenses for International schools because there aren’t any that they can find – they don’t have the data to back it up. I serve on the Immersion task force, that has been a question from day one, does Immersion cost more than regular neighborhood schools? If so how much and why? The district staff could not provide any data either way. It is a myth that SPS is providing all these extra things for Immersion schools.

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