Message to new ‘welcoming’ towns: get out your wallets for your school system!
Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 10, 2016
Ehtesham-Cating said… she cannot foresee the government penalizing Rutland schools if they cannot provide translation services right away.
This is yet another story from Rutland, VT where citizens and elected officials have been questioning a resettlement contractor (USCRI) and the federal government for months about the details of the US State Department’s decision to send the FIRST 100 Syrians there perhaps next month!
Board of Aldermen President William Notte wanted to know about school funding if the refugee children arrive in the middle of the school year.
As we point out in our 2015 post ‘Ten things your town needs to know‘ when ‘welcoming’ refugees, the impact of the resettled refugees will be felt first in your school system’s budget.
Here is what we learned at Vermont Watchdog:
Miriam Ehtesham-Cating, the English language program director for the Burlington School District, said the focus needs to be on elementary and high school kids, in keeping with the federal government’s requirements for English language learning.
“Vermont and the federal government have a strict regulatory process for identifying English language learners, and providing language assistance,” Ehtesham-Cating said.
Ehtesham-Cating, who oversees English language instruction for 14 schools, said services for preschoolers would not likely be a priority. “It is more important for staff to receive coaching and to receive help in developing learning profiles for these children,” she said.
In addition, since schools are required to send materials home to students and parents in a language they can understand, Rutland schools will need to offer some sort of translation services.
Ehtesham-Cating said that in her opinion, she cannot foresee the government penalizing Rutland schools if they cannot provide translation services right away.
Winooski, another refugee resettlement community in Vermont, spends about $1 million dollars annually on language services. Rutland schools would have a much lower tab, said Ehtesham-Cating, since only two full-time liaisons would likely be needed to help an estimated 40 refugee school kids.
“(Language services) aren’t just a requirement, they’re good practice,” she said. “Some of these children have grown up their whole lives inside a camp. They don’t know how to even go to school. … Rutland has to decide how they are going to help these children transition.”
Continue reading here.
See our complete archive on the on-going tension in Rutland, VT by clicking here.
The federal contractor WRAPSnet previously maintained a list of a couple hundred resettlement offices, here. As of this writing they have removed that list and so after years of being able to see where refugee offices are located that information is no longer available to you.
Rutland is one of 47 new sites the US State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement have quietly targeted as new resettlement sites. One of the first things the Trump Administration must do is to make all of this information public information. Here are some of the sites we have identified so far:
Aberdeen, SD (may have been thwarted as a primary resettlement site!)
Traverse City, MI
Watertown, NY (maybe)
Youngstown, OH (maybe)
Storm Lake, Iowa
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