Meeting Does Only A Little To Help Parent Having Trouble Because Her Kids Speak English

Kelly Martinez, the Spring Branch woman whose sons couldn't get into the school she wanted

because they spoke English

(see update below), met with the principal of Edgewood Elementary this morning.

Nothing new was offered for her oldest son, but the school will allow Martinez's youngest son to attend its Spanish-language-only pre-kindergarten class. According to Suzanne Mercado, the school's principal, a few parents have opted to place their kids in that class, even if their kids don't speak Spanish.

Otherwise, her youngest son has to attend an off-campus pre-kindergarten center for $500 a month. "I can’t afford to do that," Martinez says. "If I could afford to do that, I would put them in a private school and say, 'To hell with it.'"

After the meeting, Martinez and her sons took a tour of Edgewood. The kindergarten class greeted the group, "Buenos dias, Mrs. Mercado." They sat through a presentation that was half English, half Spanish.

"It's good campus, and I understand her community is predominately Hispanic," Martinez says. "I don't have a problem with that, but I have a problem not being able to get our needs met when we don't come from that culture."

The district superintendent called Martinez today and said that her oldest son could be enrolled in Edgewood immediately, or the district would continue to look for another campus for both boys. She has decided to wait and see what they come up with.

According to Martinez, the superintendent also said that she should only deal with him starting now, not any principals or other staffers.

Update: From Duncan Klussmann, Spring Branch superintendent:

"The district has not refused to enroll her children, and the parent has yet to turn in the paperwork for her children to be enrolled. And we do not deny enrollment to anyone based on the language they speak."

-- Paul Knight

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