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Louisiana Law Allows Parents To Petition For Foreign Languages

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A new state law requires public school boards in Louisiana to create foreign-language immersion programs if they receive a written request from at least 25 parents.

Starting with the 2014-2015 school year, under the Immersion School Choice Act, local school boards must create foreign language immersion programs as long as credentialed teachers are available to instruct students. The school board also must not already be offering a state-certified immersion program in the requested language. The school district must maintain the immersion program as long as 20 students continue to be enrolled in the classes.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the legislation into law last month. While the law states that money exists to pay for the foreign-language teachers under the state's current funding formula, some critics contend the financing falls short.

Louisiana School Board Association Executive Director Scott Richard told the New Orleans Times-Picayune: "We feel that [the law] opens the door for the creation of another unfunded mandate due to some overly broad language."

See our full coverage of parent empowerment issues.

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