District 220 to continue Chinese program
Updated: March 29, 2012 3:54PM
The Barrington Community Unit School District 220 School Board has tentatively approved an additional 2.2 full-time equivalent positions for an extended Middle School Spanish Dual Language Program as well as funding to continue the Chinese Immersion Program.
The Chinese Immersion Program has been heralded by parents as a program worth saving, as they have come out in droves at recent meetings to push for the program. It was put in jeopardy when the federal government cut its grant funding to the district to run the program. It is estimated the program will cost about $243,000 in the upcoming school year.
The Dual Language Program, which currently offers Spanish for Heritage Learners and Social Studies taught in Spanish to sixth graders, Spanish for Heritage Learners for seventh graders and Spanish for Heritage Learners to eighth graders would expand to offer both science and social studies taught in Spanish at all grade levels all year long.
As the board grappled with working towards a balanced budget for the upcoming 2012-13 school year, it learned transportation costs are down roughly 9.5 percent from what was expected. The 9.5 percent translates to about a $630,000 reduction in transportation costs.
Prior to Tuesday night’s meeting, the school board had already tentatively approved reducing 6.4 full-time equivalent positions for a total of about $616,140. The reductions were all made based on enrollment declines.
“This year, our only cuts are related to enrollment or operational savings,” said Board President Brian Battle. “Our challenge is always, at this point in the year, to make staffing decisions.”
The board had also tentatively approved adding an additional 2 full-time equivalent positions to address class sizes at the elementary level prior to Tuesday’s meeting.
Final budget decision are expected to be made at the March 20 school board meeting.