Does bilingual education REALLY cost more?

I’m doubtful. What can I say. But, every time I turn around it seems that yet another school district is cutting bilingual education. For me, it doesn’t add up. The most recent story I saw is one in Florida where Orange County Schools will cut programs for more than 1,000 children. Officials are said to have cited class size and time allowed for special language programs.

But, don’t these children have to be educated anyway? Are children in bilingual education classes in class for longer periods of time overall than those in monolingual classes? Do they require more teachers? Are the bilingual education teachers paid more?

The answer to all these questions (with exception to the last) is no. Bilingual education teachers sometimes do get paid more, but it’s usually only an additional stipend of $500 to $1,000 dollars per year. I don’t think this is going to break the district. If children can be educated in the same amount of time for essentially the same cost, then the claim that it is a cost-cutting measure seems disingenuous. My 2 cents.

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