In Portland Public Schools, English speaking students living in the neighborhood where a foreign language immersion school is located should get priority in admission over English speaking students wishing to transfer in from outside the neighborhood. This is not the case now, but should be implemented for the 2013-14 school years whose enrollment transfer applications for kindergarten are due March 15th.
The table above shows data from the 2012-13 tranfer enrollment lotteries for immersion programs in PPS. 75 neighborhood-residing, English speaking students were turned away (denied admission) from the foreign language immersion program at their neighborhood school. If they had been give priority over English speaking students from outside their neighborhood, 42 of the 75 would have been admitted to the immersion program of their choice at their neighborhood school: 17 more at Ainsworth, 4 more at Atkinson, 8 more at Beach, 5 more at Bridger and 8 more at Woodstock.
There is a more complex issue regarding Spanish speaking students from outside the neighborhood getting priority over English speaking students from within the neighborhood in admissions for Spanish immersion programs. The model is to have classes that are half Spanish speaking and half English speaking. It is a good educational model but it disproportionately limits English speaking students, including some from the neighborhoods, from learning Spanish.