Oregon Comprehensive Mandarin Development Program
2 year budget totals $12,163,000
If our and our children's economic prosperity, national security, and world peace depend (as I believe they do) upon how rapidly Oregon students can become proficient in Mandarin and know China from having lived there, this is the budget I would propose for the next biennium. It would provide substantial progress towards the 2015 goals that (a) 5% or more of Oregon students graduating from high school have studied Mandarin for at least two academic years in high school and have spent at least four weeks in China, (b) 10% or more of the students graduating from Oregon public universities have studied Mandarin for at least two academic years, and (c) 50% of the students graduating from Oregon public universities have spent at least four weeks in China.
1. $4,500,000: Start-Up Funding for K-12 immersion programs: 15 programs at $300,000 each. 3 programs in each congressional district. Administered by the Department of Education. The $300,000 is $200,000 for year 1 and $100,000 for year 2. It covers start up costs and provides an incentive to school districts to start programs. At 25 students per program, 15 programs are 375 students. For Oregon to reach 5% (now about 1,650 students) of its high school graduates coming out of such immersion programs, there would need to be 66 such programs (not likely ever) (and would take 13 years).
2. $48,000: Funding for new high school or middle school classes: 40 new classes at $1,200 each. Budgeting for new textbooks (30 x $40 = $1,200). Administered by the Department of Education.
3. $700,000: Summer scholarships for high school students to study Mandarin for four weeks in China:
Summer 2007 (if possible), 30 students, $100,000
Summer 2008, 60 students, $200,000
Summer 2009, 120 students, $400,000
Student must have taken one year of high school Mandarin before going (can apply in Spring while taking first year). Selection by lottery if too many apply. Administered by Department of Education if a willing non-profit organization cannot be found or created. Preferable to find corporate and foundation funding rather then State of Oregon funding. This program should grow until at least 5% of Oregon students graduating from high school each year are participating. Students would go in groups of 15 plus a bilingual coordinator. Budget is based upon the Global Exchange Center language school found on the internet plus travel. Per student cost estimated to be $3,117.
4. $150,000: Funding a process in the Department of Education to deal with two issues: (a) potential Mandarin teacher shortages and what might be done with the teacher credentialing process or other ideas to avoid such shortages, and (b) development of new rules and regulations relating to funding, credits, scheduling, and graduation requirements to facilitate high school students studying in China (either in a language only school or in a general school with subjects taught in Mandarin) during the academic year. Department of Education can do this in house or contract out. See process Minnesota is using as an example.
5. $100,000: Funding for Website: There should be one website with information on all Oregonâs China related activities. It should include educational programs, trade programs, and economic development programs.
6. $50,000: Heritage funding: High school heritage language classes are for native (spoken in home or as an immigrant) Mandarin speakers and others fluent in Mandarin. Classes can be in any subject. They are designed to develop Mandarin skills to high levels. One time funding of new or existing classes at $2,000 per class for books and materials.
7. $100,000: Immersion International Baccalaurate High School Feasibility Study: Will there be enough heritage, immersion and Chinese students to populate an international baccalaurate high school taught almost entirely (one period of English) in Mandarin. It would be designed to serve as both a high level Mandarin proficiency program for Oregon students and as an attraction for Chinese corporations looking for U.S. locations where the children of their executives can get a high level education in Mandarin (so they can return to top level Chinese universities).
8. $15,000: Independent Study Course Reimbursement: Many high school students will be attending high schools that do not offer Mandarin courses. For them there are correspondence and online Mandarin courses. One example is at Brigham Young University's independent study Mandarin course for high school students. It costs $115 per semester. I could not find an Oregon school offering an online or correspondence Mandarin course. PSU charges $140 per semester for its correspondence courses. OSU charges $290. This would reimburse students who take online or correspondence courses. A maximum dollar limit per course should be set. Administered by the Department of Education.
9. $100,000: Teacher Exchange Program: Oregon should develop a teacher exchange program with China (especially our sister state Fujian Province). Perhaps starting with sending our English teachers for their Mandarin teachers, but all subjects should be eligible. Funds can pay for travel costs and other expenses. Administered by the Department of Education.
10. $100,000: Publicity campaign: Funds to promote studying Mandarin to Oregon students and parents.
11. $300,000: Staff in Department of Education: Funding for one professional level staff plus an administrative aide. Staff responsible for administration of the grants for all the non-higher education components of this program: immersion programs, middle and high school start-up, summer scholarships for high school students, the teacher shortage/study abroad process, website development, heritage program, immersion high school IB feasibility study, independent course reimbursement program, the teacher exchange program, and the publicity campaign.
12. $6,000,000: Higher Education: Funding to State Board of Higher Education for student study in China, development of business internships in China, additional Mandarin courses and administrative overhead. Board of Higher Education can allocate, but must fund at least 1,000 students (can include community college students) who, each having taken one year of college level Mandarin, spend at least four weeks in China and administrative costs cannot exceed 10% ($600,000). Suggest Board of Higher Education use take Mandarin for an academic year and we will send you to China for four weeks approach. Corporate and foundation funding is preferred, but State of Oregon funding should provide what they do not.