ESOL Teacher to Student Ratio - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Crystal Oko

ESOL Teacher to Student Ratio

ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC-TV) -- A new report that says Minnesota lags behind the national average in the number of teachers of English as another language.  And there's even more of a lag in Rochester.

For those who speak English, simple commands are as easy as one, two, three. But if English is a student's other language, it can be more difficult.

"A lot of our students come to us. They're actually born in the United States, but they just might speak their first language at home," said Raquel Johnson, one of three teachers at Riverside Elementary that specialize in English for speakers of other languages.

"My caseload is about 52 students," said Johnson.

"We have students who are on monitor who we don't directly teach, but we check up on them on a regular basis and they're a part of our caseload. So we can have over a hundred, but we aren't teaching all of them directly," said Maggie Hovel, a ESOL teaacher at John Marshall High School.

The Rochester School District says it's English as another language student to teacher ratio is 58 to 1, which is over three times the national average.

 "And with the current budget concerns, I don't see that getting better. Which is unfortunate, but is the reality of where we are with our current budget," said Judy Auger, the ESOL coordinator for Rochester Public Schools.

And no matter what language you crunch numbers in it all comes down to budget issues.

The district has 2,150 students who are in the program who speak 65 different languages.

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