Nevada schools could get bilingual education option

Nevada students would have the opportunity to become bilingual as part of a dual-language immersion program presented to the Assembly Education Committee. Assembly Assistant Majority Whip Heidi Swank, D-Las Vegas, presented Assembly Bill 139 on Wednesday. It originated in the Interim Legislative Committee on Education and relies heavily on a model from Utah.

In Nevada, up to 30 elementary schools could apply for $10,000 grants from the state Department of Education to establish and support such a program in the first year. Another $300,000 would help districts develop curriculum, recruit teachers and support the schools. 

Schools could pick Spanish, French or Mandarin Chinese to start, with the intent to add other languages in the future, including American Sign Language. 

The money would come from the state general fund, according to the proposal.

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