Bring a K-5 French immersion program to the Burlington, Vermont, elementary schools.
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Elementary school students have tremendous potential for language learning. Benefits of bilingualism are greater academic achievement, increased empathy, decreased prejudice, and expanded job opportunities. The Burlington, Vermont, City Council unanimously recommends that the Burlington schools teach all our children French. There are more native French-speakers than English-speakers living within a two-hour drive of our unique lakeside city center.
We urge the Burlington School District and our Superintendent to plan now to convert at least one of our Kindergarten classrooms to a French-immersion curriculum by September 2018, and to add grades 1-5 in the following years.
The major transition cost will be during the six years of teaching staff reassignments; we can raise that funding here in the community. Thanks to geography and our history we have the opportunity to make our city known as the United States' capital of French-language study, as well as for touristic French-friendliness. Where else could that happen? Let's use it.
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