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.

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. She also managed VOSD’s podcasts and covered...

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