There is a strain on school budgets as students with limited English increasing in some area continue to need help breaking the language barrier.
In New York state there are approximately 200 different languages spoken by children of immigrants. These include indigenous languages that have no written element. Across the state, the number of children who speak languages other than English has grown. Since 2008, the number has increased by 39,000. That’s more children than there are in the entire school district of Buffalo.
And more are expected. Refugee programs in Buffalo are expected to expand because affordable housing is available, and there is an influx from Syria, the Congo, Burma, and Somalia
“I’m going to be needing some new teachers and translators,” said Niagara Falls superintendent Mark Laurrie. “I’m not going to put a wall around our schools. As long as the individuals coming here are vetted, I’m pleased to be able to educate them.”
At present there are 245,000 students who have low English ability in New York public schools, approximately one in 11 children.