Dual Language Parents Launch Online Petition
Jun 02, 2014 08:40AM ● Published by Steven Jack
Parents supporting Oswego School District 308's Dual Language program crowd into a recent School Board meeting in a show of support for the program. Photo Courtesey of Todd Andrlik
The "Save Dual Language" petition was started May 31 on the site gopetition.com. So far, it's collected about 300 signatures. In part, the petition reads:
Our exemplary program is in danger of being dismantled. This would greatly effect all students and teachers in our school district. If the program is dismantled, all Dual Language students would be sent back to their home schools which would increase class sizes throughout our schools and strain the already limited academic resources that are available to students in each school.
Currently, Reading Specialists are stretched thin between schools to try to meet the needs of students outside the Dual Language program. We are jeopardizing that resource if we add more students to these schools who will need literacy support in English. This risk is not limited to reading supports.
Considering our Kendall County tax rate ranks us in the top half of one percent for the highest tax rates in the country, (Kendall county is ranked 16th out of the 3,143 counties in the U.S.*) and that 63% of our tax bill goes to our D308, we should be able to guarantee that every child in our district is being provided with all they need to achieve academically.
The effort to save the program began in late April after parents say school administrators presented skewed academic performance numbers to the School Board in order to begin dismantling the program because it's politically unpopular among board members. The program currently serves about 360 students and often has an annual waiting list of hundreds to gain entry.
Dual Language, which is part of the district's English Language Learner program, places native English and Spanish speakers in a total immersion learning environment throughout the school day. Students attend both Hunt Club Elementary and Plank Junior High schools.
School Board President Bill Walsh has said the board has no "up or down" vote planned to take apart the program and is merely interested in hearing recommended changes to the program. The board will hear those recommendations from administrators at its June 9 meeting.
ALSO READ: District 308 Dual Language Parents Fighting to Keep Program Alive