Members of the Orange County School Board voted at their meeting Monday night to keep Spanish classes in the district's elementary schools, in addition to adding a part-time bilingual family liaison to each elementary school staff, following criticism of a recent proposal to remove elementary Spanish instruction.
Superintendent Monique Felder originally presented the recommendation that the district repurpose elementary school Spanish teachers to other teaching positions in anticipation of budget shortfalls, among other concerns, at a June 8 meeting.
Due to community feedback, including public comment at the June 8 meeting, the board postponed voting on the recommendation until June 22.
Elementary school students entertain each other during a meeting about dual language in school curriculums on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
At the June 8 meeting, Alice Dolbow, director of post-secondary opportunity for LatinxEd, a Latinx educational nonprofit, said the Board should consider the growth of the state and school district's Latinx population when making decisions concerning Spanish education curriculum.
"We need to invest in curriculum and instruction in which Latinx students can see their heritage reflected," Dolbow said, "And our non-Latinx families need to learn the powerful stories and rich culture that Spanish-speaking families bring to our communities.”