This is a very speculative blog post. Portland Public Schools Dual Language Immersion Department is considering adding two new Spanish immersion programs for the fall of 2014-15. It is prioritizing schools with “the high number of Spanish speakers” and “has the resources to expand in each language in no more than in two new schools each year,” because…(here)
DLI staff said the reason that PPS can add only two Spanish immersion programs per year is because it is hard to find bilingual Spanish immersion teachers and that PPS prefers not to rely upon imported teachers (who can be unreliable because of visa problems and short term commitments).
DLI staff, in written info for the King community meeting also said:
During last year’s study, King ranked 6th in schools with native Spanish speaking populations.
I have not seen last year’s study ranking school with Spanish speaking populations, and recognize there is a difference between “Hispanics” and “Spanish speaking," but the following chart ranks all PPS elementary schools with 20% or more “Hispanics” (data from the PPS publication “School Profiles & Enrollment Data: 2012-2013.”) and notes which have Spanish immersion programs.
Note that King is not ranked 6th but 4th. If PPS continued to add Spanish immersions at a rate of two new programs per year, King would be considered in the second round, 2015-16.
Assuming PPS expands Spanish immersion by two per year for the next few years, where might the new programs go. The following are colored coded maps of the possible next six year development of Spanish immersion programs at a rate of two new programs per year targeted at school with the highest percentage of “Hispanics."
Red – Existing Spanish immersion
Blue – Currently under consideration
2nd round - Green
3rd round - Yellow
4th round - Pink
5th round - Light purple
6th round - Orange
Of course, these new Spanish immersion programs, if limited only to neighborhood students as DLI staff proposes with Sitton and James John, would not provide many new slots for the over 226 largely English speaking applicants who did not get admitted in the last lottery.