In their book Dual Language Education for a Transformed World Thomas and Collier state “When comparing Dual Language (DL) classrooms to […] mainstream English classrooms [… c]ost for DL are less than for ESL-only because DL is a mainstream (not a separate remedial) program that is taught through two (rather than one) languages. Some extra cost may be needed for second language materials, but no additional classroom teachers are needed […]. ”
DC budget analyst Mary Levy compared the operational budgets of all DC immersion programs with DCPS’ elementary school average, and found that the majority of DC’s immersion programs operate on an operational budget lower than the DCPS average.
While some of these immersion programs might take advantage of additional money available for English Language Learners, examples like Tyler ES and Washington Yu Ying (where there are no substantial English Language Learners) show that these programs do not need to rely on ELL funding.
Here is Mary Levy’s full presentation.
Delaware’s program budgets $1.9M per year over 10 years to implement immersion programs for 10,000 students.