Last week, the Chancellor of New York City Public Schools announced the addition of 47 new PK dual language programs across all five boroughs in school year 2019/2020. And that is in addition to the 32 new dual language programs added in school year 2018/2019

In the same amount of time, DC Public Schools has added exactly zero dual language programs. View the testimonies of DC students, families and advocates during the recent hearings here, and read up on the “Dual Language Immersion Accelerator Amendment Act 2019” introduced last month by the DC Council.

The reasons stated by NYC officials for such an aggressive expansion of dual language programs are:

  • “Building the fairest big city in America starts in the classroom. By offering even more dual-language Pre-K programs across the five boroughs, we’re readying our children for the global economy of the future” said Mayor de Blasio.
  • “It is an incredible gift of education and multi-language acquisition for our children and their families that will strengthen communities across our city for generations to come” said Hispanic Federation President José Calderón.
  • “Dual-language pedagogy provides an opportunity to strengthen Department of Education’s commitment to culturally-responsive education that celebrates the diversity of children’s native language as assets, not impediments” said State Senator Robert Jackson.
  • “Multilingual learning has been successful in my district and is enhancing literacy and bicultural understanding, which is a key element of learning a new language” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.
  • “We applaud the DOE on expanding these critical programs, which are vital for the success of our immigrant communities,” said the Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

The same reasons hold true for the District of Columbia. See our piece on why the next DCPS Chancellor must be a champion of multilingual education.

Read more on NYC’s expansion here.

Dear Families, educators, and partners,

In 2020 we announced that the DC Language Immersion Project would close its doors due to lack of resources. However, before completely dissolving the organization, we recently asked a group of local and national educators if they - individually or collectively - would be interested in continuing the work of advocating for multilingual education in the District of Columbia. We are pleased to announce that a few individuals responded yes and volunteered to forge a plan to continue this vital work.

So, we are not closing our doors but we are entering a six-to-twelve-month period of dormancy as we determine the best path forward for the DC Immersion Project.  Thank you for your continued support and please stay tuned for updates.

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