AUGUSTA — An influx of immigrant students has the school board considering Wednesday a proposal to add $152,000 to boost programming for students for whom English is not their first language.

When this school year’s budget was developed and approved last school year, Augusta officials anticipated they would have approximately 90 students who required English language learner programming to help them learn the language.

However, after that budget was set, new student registrations increased the number of students needing help with their English to a total now of 119 students. And many of the new students, according to Donna Madore, assistant superintendent, “have very low proficiency levels and necessitate more intensive services before they can receive educational benefits within the regular classroom.”

The budget currently includes $312,300 for the English language learners program. Madore said staffing includes four English as a Second Language endorsed teachers and two educational technicians.

The additional $152,000 school board members are scheduled to consider approving at their 6 p.m. meeting Wednesday in the cafeteria at Capital Area Technical Center would allow the schools to hire four new educational technicians to support the influx of students from kindergarten to grade 12.

The money would come from personnel accounts, according to Madore.

Madore said administrators “were hearing almost daily of new student registrations and how programs were at capacity.” She said the new students are predominantly “from the Arabic nations.”

Augusta has 101 students for whom English was not their first language last year, 75 the year prior, and 53 the year prior to that, according to data provided to school board members.

Board members Wednesday are also scheduled to meet in a workshop session following the special board meeting to hear updates on renovations to Hussey Elementary School; a proposal to seek state Revolving Renovation Fund money for additional renovations at Hussey; a planned request for proposals to provide busing; a new district website; computers and network changes; special education and school board goals.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj


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