(CBS 11 News) DALLAS The Dallas Independent School
District recently started a new program for bilingual education, and
hired bilingual teachers to lead specialized classrooms. The goal of
this pilot program is to eventually transition Spanish speaking students
into classes that are taught in English. A total of 15,000 Spanish
speaking students are currently enrolled in these bilingual education
The program is getting a second look, however.
School board trustee Ron Price is raising concerns because some of the
teachers do not actually speak English. ?We have several teachers here
who do not speak English at all,? said Price, ?and they are in our
Over 300 teachers hired specifically to teach Spanish speaking students
as a part of this bilingual program are not even residents of the United
States. They were given $4000 stipends and $500 signing bonuses.
If these teachers really do not speak English, Price worries that a
dangerous divide will eventually emerge. ?We are creating a language
segregation,? he said.
Education activist Allen Gwinn echoes that concern.
Gwinn said that district officials have acknowledged that some teachers
in the bilingual education program cannot pass tests proving proficiency
in speaking the English language.
?I think it?s a band-aid,? Gwinn said. ?Placate high profile officials
who probably don?t have the best interest of our kids.?
After two days of requests, DISD administrators issued this written
response: ?The State of Texas and federal ?No Child Left Behind?
regulations prevent the district from hiring teachers who do not speak