School districts struggling to find English language instructors could get a boost from a newly created office in the State Department of Education.
Sherri Ybarra, Idaho’s superintendent of public instruction, said the new office will help districts that have students struggling to learn English and those who are migrants.
Christina Nava, who has a background in limited-English proficiency and has worked at the Department of Education for three years, was named the new office’s director. Her administrative experience came from working in English language and migrant programs in the Nampa School District.
Nava’s new office won’t add staff but will combine employees already working in the limited-English and migrant offices.
Finding enough instructors for the 14,000 limited-English students in Idaho’s public schools is the main goal, Nava said. Rural schools feel the shortage the most.
“They are having a hard enough time finding math teachers, let alone an English-language learner instructor,” Nava told the Statesman. Combining the two offices will help the the department further its reach into schools, Nava said.