Richmond school board members met at Blackwell Elementary last night for a budget work session. teachers and community members voiced their support for more resources dedicated to a growing Latinx population on Richmond’s southside.
Boushall Middle School Principal LaTonya Waller said she was nervous to deliver her morning address in Spanish in front of the school board, but she does it every day for a school full of 11 to 13 year olds.
“Me llamo es Señora Waller. Yo soy la principal directora de Boushall Middle School.”
Waller says Bouschall’s ESL population has grown from 175 students to over 300 over the past year, but the proposed budget does not provide funding for increased support for this growing group of students. She and her teachers want to see an ESL curriculum instated in the district as well as more ESL teachers who know Spanish. Waller again,
“I want this school board to be mindful of the needs of our growing hispanic population, specifically of our English language learners.”
According to a report published by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Richmond’s Hispanic population is projected to nearly double by 2020. The school board will vote on the final budget February 20th.