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Alaska’s only Mandarin immersion program saved from the chopping block

December 4, 2022

Anchorage School Board says immersion programs will not be cut to save money

By Lex Yelverton, Anchorage Daily News

Published: Nov. 16, 2022

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – In a major update on the budget cuts that the Anchorage School District is considering, the Anchorage School Board announced that the district’s language immersion programs will not be axed.

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, the support was overwhelming in favor of saving the immersion programs. More than 100 people signed up for public testimony, with a majority of them trying to save the language programs.

However, before they could speak, the president of the school board made an announcement.

“After our work session today, we have decided to take immersion off the list for this year,” ASD School Board President Margo Bellamy said.

Please read more here.

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A letter from a parent prior to the announcement:

Letters to the Editor to the Anchorage Daily News

Letter: Support immersion students

By Danielle Igtanloc and Cody Morris

Published: November 17, 2022

We are parents of a student who is enrolled in the Scenic Park Elementary Chinese Immersion program. We are highly disappointed to hear that immersion programs are being considered for discontinuation due to budget cuts. Our daughter has several friends in different immersion programs within the Anchorage School District who share her joy and enthusiasm for being an immersion student. Removal of these programs impacts our daughter, her peers, the families of the students, and the community.

As parents, we are concerned about the ethical and moral lessons removing immersion would teach our daughter and students in similar positions. By choosing to cut immersion programs based on budget, we would be teaching these students that their commitment does not matter. The quality time invested in going beyond the minimum education requirement does not matter. More importantly, we would teach them that cultural diversity and knowledge do not matter.

Please read more here.

More about the program here, from the Asia Society

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