Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Get Bilingual Funds to Kids.(Opinion)


Frustrated by the continuing shortage of qualified bilingual teachers, Sweeney Elementary School Principal Bill Beacham took matters into his own hands a few years ago and snagged $800,000 in federal funding for bilingual programs at his school.

Sweeney is the only school in Santa Fe to have landed one of these federal grants, which are earmarked for schools with a high number of immigrant students. Nearly half of Sweeney's 675 pupils are from Mexico.

Beacham is using the money to turn six of his already-bilingual teacher assistants into full-fledged teachers. Ten teachers are studying to add the bilingual qualification to their licenses.

Beacham's strategy is a clever one it capitalizes on Sweeney's existing resources, and provides a boost to workers who might not otherwise have been able to pursue such career enhancements. …

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