SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — South Kingstown dad and mom are talking out after the college district introduced it might finish its Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program subsequent yr on account of a funds shortfall.
The DLI program, provided at three faculties, permits college students to separate their tutorial time between English and Spanish. In a college board assembly Monday, the district voted 4-3 to finish this system after this yr.
Superintendent Mark Prince informed 12 News this system needed to go as a result of the district is going through a funds shortfall of $1.124 million.
Several dad and mom expressed their frustrations about this system being nixed and mentioned they felt the college didn’t attempt arduous sufficient to seek out different methods to handle the funds shortfall.
Chris Hubbard, a South Kingstown dad or mum, has three bilingual youngsters in this system. He mentioned the DLI program has been near the chopping block a number of instances, however has all the time escaped being eradicated.
“It seems to be the lightning rod for any problems the school system is having, and we’ve been able to combat it pretty well up until now,” Hubbard mentioned.
Barbara Slade, whose youngster attends Peace Dale Elementary School, mentioned this system helps her second grade son join together with his heritage.
“Growing up in these neighborhoods, it’s not just about what you do at home,” Slade mentioned. “It’s the community around you supporting you in your language development.”
The district employed marketing consultant Chad Ransom to judge the DLI program. Ransom informed 12 News he didn’t suggest reducing this system, explaining that districts typically spend much less on twin immersion college students in the long term.
“Many of the areas identified in this program review are connected to broader district needs that are not specific to the dual immersion program,” Ransom mentioned.
The information of this system’s elimination comes even after the district despatched a letter in March stating that this system would proceed into the 2022-2023 yr.
The district acquired $3 million from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, however it’s unclear why that cash couldn’t be used to handle the funds considerations.
In a press release, Prince informed 12 News the district has checked out a number of methods to maintain this system going, together with putting DLI in each constructing and lowering profession, technical, and superior placement lessons.
“In order to balance the budget, reductions were needed,” Prince mentioned.
Prince didn’t reply to a request for remark Friday.
“We need to really, really learn what equity is and what equality means, the difference between those and what is right for our children,” Slade mentioned.