Online readers respond to "Spring Branch Mom Can't Register Her Kids for School — Because They Speak English," Hair Balls blog, by Paul Knight, August 27.
Way weird: This is just freaking incredible! I mean, it just seems waaay too weird to actually hear that there are schools that taxpayers pay for that will not allow white, English-speaking, American children. Is it just me, the Martinez family or is there something wrong here?
Standard complaint: You know what the problem is? Not that anyone's foreign and hasn't learned English. We don't have any problems with their having ESL classes, or bilingual classes. It's that the district cut the English classes for the pre-K kids because they didn't see fit to pay for it when there were apparently not enough English-speaking students. It's that the English classes became secondary. As far as I'm concerned, English is the standard, and should be in every school. It was when this country was settled, and it's no different now. My little brothers should be able to learn their language as if it were their first. Sitting around in an ESL class, or with only Spanish-speaking students, is going to hurt their ability to learn the language properly.
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A burden: It, too, was an issue when my children were that age. My son having a birthday that would allow him to start kindergarten early was so exciting, until I took him and found out they would not accept him because he spoke English. I was very upset, as I was struggling as a single mother. The thought of finally having a child going to school to help lessen the burden of daycare costs was comforting.
Use common sense: I remember how incredible I found it that my child would not qualify for pre-K for the same reasons — he spoke English as a first language, we had an income level that was above the poverty level and he was not developmentally delayed. Then when he was in third grade, he was reading at an eighth-grade level, and based on the Accelerated Reading program used by our school district, at that reading level he was required to read an enormous number of books each six weeks, so my pudgy little third-grader had to sit out at recess to read. If there was a child that needed to run and play during the day, it was him. It defied common sense — something that has never been apparent in the public school system.