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Columbia Public Schools prepares for more multi-lingual students

Columbia Public Schools plans to hire three new teachers to work in its English Language Learners program next year.

The more than $160,000 comes from a voter-approved property tax raise in April. Superintendent Dr. Peter Stiepleman, promised the expansion on the campaign trail for the tax raise, and unveiled the plan at Monday’s Board of Education meeting. He cited the expectations of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri of 160 families coming from countries like Eretria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Myanmar this year.

“We’ll have [our paperwork] translated into eight different languages by the beginning of next year,” Stiepleman told the board. “Which is really important.”

CPS already hires 19 English Language Learners instructors, ten of which serve at the elementary level. The district wants to keep class sizes low in the ELL program, according to a financial update presented Monday.

Jefferson City Public Schools hires several teachers for its ELL program, and boasts 200 students that utilize the service from 30 different countries.

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