|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, June 22, 2000|
|Contact:||Darrell S. Pressley, 781-338-3126|
Governor Signs Historic Agreement To Bring Spanish Teachers To Massachusetts
Boston - Governor A. Paul Cellucci today signed an historic agreement with the Kingdom of Spain that will bring dozens of qualified visiting Spanish teachers to teach in Massachusetts public schools.
Massachusetts joins two dozen states which have signed agreements with Spain, including California, Texas, Florida, and Connecticut. The agreement is for a one-year period, renewable for three-year periods thereafter.
In September, as a result of the agreement, 24 teachers from Spain will teach in Boston, Lawrence, Springfield, Chelsea, Milton and Westfield. Most will teach Spanish as a foreign language, while some will teach courses in social studies and science in the Spanish language to Spanish-speaking students in transitional bilingual education programs.
Also, in a separate agreement between the Governor, the Massachusetts Department of Education and the University of Massachusetts at Boston, a resource center will be established at UMass/Boston to be used by all teachers of Spanish in Massachusetts, estimated to number close to 1,000. The center will have instructional materials for use by teachers and will offer professional development to the teachers of Spanish as well.
In the 1999-2000 school year, Massachusetts Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll piloted a visiting Spanish teacher program in which six teachers came from Spain to teach in Lawrence and Boston. After a successful pilot year, Commissioner Driscoll recommended that the state enter a formal agreement to expand the program and the state's relation with Spain for years to come.
"Spanish is the largest language group among students in Massachusetts public schools. It has been difficult to meet the need for the numbers of qualified teachers we must have, and therefore this agreement is a very helpful step forward," Driscoll said.
For more information, visit the Educator Quality Enhancement website.