MPS moves forward with resolution to promote bilingual education

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by Priscilla Luong

MILWAUKEE-- Officials with Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) want to promote bilingual education in local schools.

"Who wouldn't support this," said Dr. Tatiana Joseph, who represents District 6 on the MPS Board of Directors, "this is for the good of our children, we want to make sure that our children can compete in a global market."

Dr. Joseph and Larry Miller, another board member, introduced a resolution that would commit more resources to bilingual education.

The resolution was approved at an MPS committee meeting Tuesday.  Dr. Joseph says the demand for bilingual education continues to grow in Milwaukee.

"Most of the schools in my district have a waiting list," she explained.

The resolution cites a third of students in MPS do not list English as their first language.  Dr. Joseph says most of these bilingual students speak Spanish at home.  The resolution also notes tremendous growth in the district's Hispanic community.

"The Latino community is a fast growing constituency," said Rep. Jocasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee), as she addressed the board of direc not just in the country, but in our great state." 23:05

The resolution establishes a target area that promotes bilingualism in Dr. Joseph's district near Milwaukee's Southside.  District data shows more than half of the schools in this area have bilingual programs.

Through this resolution-- district officials hope to not only better serve Milwaukee's growing Hispanic population, but all MPS students in a global society.

"We have to start in small steps," said Dr. Joseph, "the first steps will be to form committees and take a community approach to this."

The resolution moves on to the full board of directors at a meeting June 19.

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