By Erin Richards and Kristin Lam, USA Today

Jan 7, 2020

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“In some districts, the popularity of dual-language programs has led to concerns that English learners, who often come from lower-income families, will be pushed out by native English speakers from more affluent families.

At Oyster-Adams Bilingual School in Washington, for example, just 24% of students are English learners, according to school data. 

Oyster’s program was created to serve the Latino population, but gentrification over the past 40 years drove low-income families from the neighborhood, says Vanessa Bertelli, co-founder of a grassroots organization that advocates for more dual-language programs.

“There are more than 10,000 students learning English in D.C., and even if every one of those students enrolled in a dual-immersion school, there wouldn’t be enough seats for them,” says Bertelli of the DC Language Immersion Project

“There’s a lot of energy wasted on trying to allocate the pie, when what we should be doing is making more pies,” she says.”

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