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 Post subject: 236 different languages spoken in Indiana schools!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:45 am 
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I challenge you to read this without questioning the intelligence of some of Indiana's educators! How can they say that speaking 236 different languages enriches the learning environment? It seems to me that it just confuses it!

Let's run the numbers. There are 70,953 students in our schools who speak a foreign tongue as their primary language. Some are refugees, some are legal immigrants and some are illegal aliens. Indiana already spends over $12,000 per pupil per year on K-12 education. ADD to that an additional $95.62 in STATE funding plus $127.29 in FEDERAL funding and YOUR TAX DOLLARS pay an additional $15,816,133.23 per year!

State: $95.62 x 70,953 = $6,784,525.86
Federal: $127.29 x 70,953 = $9,031,607.37

TOTAL: $15,816,133.23


Senator Delph's S.E.A. 590 calls on the State of Indiana to keep track of the costs of illegal immimgration to Hoosier taxpayers. I certainly hope they are attempting to ascertain the status of public school students so we can find out how much of this money is going towards educating illegal aliens.

Send the link for this page to your state senators and representatives to let them know you expect answers!


http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a ... 1112050313

Variety of languages challenges, enriches schools
Schools make an effort to reach out to parents
12:01 AM, Dec. 5, 2011

In educator Kelly Shipman's Perry Township school district, 59 languages are spoken among the student body.

Many children from other countries are quick to learn English, she said, but communicating with their families is often a much bigger challenge -- one that teachers and administrators are working hard to address.

"We don't want our non-English-speaking parents to feel intimidated about coming to school activities or events," said Shipman, the district's special programs supervisor. "We want their child's school to be a warm and inviting place for them."

Her Southside district offers evening English classes for adults at two of its elementary schools and a GED program geared toward limited-English adults at Southport Middle School. The programs for adults help encourage parental involvement among immigrant families, she said.

Parents such as Maria Morales, 40, appreciate that outreach effort. She has two children at Perry Township's Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, which has an enrollment that is about 30 percent Hispanic.

"It doesn't matter if you don't speak the language," said Morales, a native of Mexico who has lived in Indianapolis for a decade. "There are people here to help you."

Indianapolis' Latino community is large enough that schools often have well-established protocols for connecting with Spanish-speaking families. However, communicating can be more challenging with other languages.

"Recently we needed a translation of a Polish document," said Marilee Updike, director of the English Learners (EL) program in Indianapolis Public Schools. "You have to look around for these things."
In IPS, 46 languages are represented among students and their families.

"Obviously, we can't ever have all the staff or resources to be able to speak all these languages or translate every document," Updike said. "We have lists and lists of people and agencies that we contact. It's a patchwork quilt."

AT&T, Updike said, operates a "language line," which provides interpreters to people who don't speak English.

"It's good but expensive," Updike said of the service.


Several other area school districts register an even greater number of native tongues. In Wayne Township on the city's Westside, 70 languages are spoken. In Washington Township on the Northside, the number is 67.

Statewide, at least 236 languages are spoken by students in Hoosier classrooms.

Staff numbers reflect the growing responsibility of educating new arrivals to the United States.

At IPS, Updike oversees 70 EL teachers, 69 bilingual assistants and seven other support staff.

Perry Township this year hired seven new certified EL teachers and seven new tutor-translators, bringing its total EL staff to 23 certified teachers and 30 other positions.

Wayne Township employs 38 certified teachers and 24 other staff to meet the needs of EL students.

Schools receive additional state and federal funding for each EL student. Last school year, the additional state funding was $95.62 per pupil, and the additional federal funding was $127.29 per pupil.

Spanish is by far the most commonly spoken foreign language among Indiana students. Of 70,953 students in the state who speak a native language other than English, 52,494 speak Spanish. These numbers include EL students and those proficient enough in English that they do not need EL services.

The number of non-English-speaking families has increased significantly in recent years. It's a trend that shows no signs of lessening.

In 2006, none of Marion County's 11 school districts had EL populations exceeding 10 percent of total enrollment. By 2010, five districts had surpassed that threshold: IPS and the township districts of Perry, Pike, Washington and Wayne.

Suburban counties also are experiencing the trend. Carmel Clay Schools, for example, has 63 languages represented among its students, said Rachel Sever, who oversees that district's EL program. Unlike Marion County districts, where Spanish is predictably the second-most dominant language to English, Carmel's second-most prevalent language is Mandarin.

Whatever the challenges and costs, said a Washington Township Schools official, many educators cherish the cross-mingling of different nationalities and cultures in the classroom.

Charlie Geier's district is home to a growing number of refugees, he noted, who have fled persecution in their homelands. Most of the refugees are from Burma, but some are from other nations, such as Iraq and Somalia. All told, the district has 242 refugees.

"We're looking at these students as assets to our learning community," said Geier, coordinator of that district's EL program. "Having these students makes the learning environment that much richer as we try to teach from a global perspective."

Sever agreed with that assessment. "This student population brings a rich array of cultural resources to our school community," she said.

Updike, head of IPS' EL program, said metro-area educators are doing a better job of reaching out to non-English-speaking members of the community, but there is always room to improve.

"When we first started seeing an influx of Latino students some years ago," she said, "there were no special services (for immigrants), period. We've come a long way. It's not perfect, but there is a lot more than there used to be."

Call Star reporter Bill McCleery at (317) 444-6083.


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