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Parents fight Phoenix school district attempt to cut Mandarin immersion program

April 10, 2021
Parents gather at school board meeting to keep their Mandarin immersion program open.

In March, school officials in Phoenix, Arizona notified parents at the Horseshoe Trails Elementary School Mandarin immersion program the popular program would be cut in the 2021-2022 school year.

This came as a shock to parents and they began to work tirelessly to keep the now six-year-old program going. The school district has given various, often changing, reasons for why the program was being axed.

Highly sought-after, there is a wait list and a lottery to get into the program, which was founded in 2014. Its students have consistently been among the highest-performing in the district.

More than 150 parents showed up at a school board meeting to advocate for their children’s school, which in 2020 was named an Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon School, one of 367 in the nation to achieve that honor.

The district’s Spanish and French immersion programs were not cut.

After weeks of discussions, the school board has agreed to work with parents to find a better solution than simply cutting the program.

One issue raised by the district was the difficulty of finding teachers for the program. Please pass along the job posting the program’s current position to those who might be interested.

Phoenix Mandarin Immersion Teacher position

People who are interested can reach out to one of the parents leading the effort, Jennifer Cain, at

Horseshoe Trails Elementary students at the protest

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