The Topeka Board of Education voted 5-1 Thursday night to sustain the dual language program at Whitson Elementary School for the 2013-2014 year. The school will also continue the program for the incoming kindergarten class. Board President Patrick Woods abstained from voting on this issue.
However, the continuation of the program is not definite. The board also voted 7-0 to have administration construct a document of conditions that must be met in order to continue the program in future years. The parents of all incoming kindergarten students will also be notified that there is no guarantee that the dual language program will be provided for their children in future years.
Much of the discussion at the meeting focused on the ability to secure qualified Spanish-speaking teachers for the Whitson program, which will likely be a major factor in determining the future of the program.
Parent advocates for Whitson's dual language program were happy with the board's decision.