Local Elected Officials Step into District 308 Dual Language Fight
Jun 03, 2014 09:20PM ● Published by Steven Jack
State Rep. Linda Chapa Lavia is scheduled to appear before the Oswego School District 308 School Board Monday night to discuss the district's Dual Language program. Chapa Lavia is also chairwoman of the Illinois House Elementary & Secondary Education Committee.
Dozens of parents of students in the Dual Language program attended the Oswego Village Board meeting Tuesday night in a show of solidarity for the program. Village President Brian LeClercq acknowledged their attendance and revealed that local elected officials were now involved in the debate as to whether the program should be dismantled.
"Linda Chapa Lavia will attend the school board meeting to speak to the program and what works and what doesn't work, so we don't have to throw the baby out with the bath water," LeClercq told parents.
Chapa Lavia is also the chariwoman of the House Elementary & Secondary Education Committee.
"I know she feels very strongly about this issue," LeClercq said.
ALSO READ: District 308 Dual Language Parents Fighting to Keep Program Alive
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.
Dual Language parent Jared Ploger urged village trustees to contact School Board members, saying many parents could leave Oswego for other nearby towns and school districts with similar programs. A lack of the program in District 308 ultimately could drive down home values in the village, Ploger said.
The School Board will hear a report and recommendations on the Dual Language program Monday night, and the its future will be decided based on those recommendations, School Board President Bill Walsh has said.