San Diego Unified has offered bilingual immersion programs since the ’70s.
Historically they’ve served students from middle-class and affluent neighborhoods whose parents want them to pick up a new language.
But at Sherman Elementary, nearly 100 percent of students come from low-income families.
The school’s program has seen success and one might assume that means it’s being replicated at other schools in the district. It’s not, thanks to a state law that makes it hard to teach kids in languages other than English.
The district has opened a couple new bilingual programs to meet parent demand but a measure on the November ballot could change the rules, helping clear the way for more schools like Sherman.
On this week’s San Diego Explained, VOSD’s Mario Koran and NBC 7 San Diego’s Monica Dean talk about the past, present and future of bilingual education programs.