Paso Robles school board votes to move dual immersion across town

February 13, 2024

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District


Despite pleas from impassioned parents, the Paso Robles school board voted 5-2 on Tuesday to move the dual immersion program to the east side of town as part of a major reconfiguration of the district, with trustees Kenney Enney and Joel Peterson dissenting.

Before the start of the 2024-2023 school year, the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District plans to combine the two junior high schools at the George Flamson Middle School campus on the west side of the city. It is likely the campus will operate under a new name.

The district’s dual immersion program, which is currently at Georgia Brown Elementary School’s 36th Street campus, will move across Highway 101 and into the Daniel Lewis Middle School campus on Creston Road, and will include sixth grade.

The remaining elementary schools will also include kindergarten through sixth grade.

Last month, the school board voted to close the Georgia Brown Elementary School campus. The decision was made after the state found a potential dangerous geological anomaly under the site of the district’s dual immersion program. Georgia Brown Elementary is a magnet school focused on students speaking English and Spanish fluently by the time they graduate fifth grade.

Parents pleaded with the board on Tuesday evening to keep the dual immersion program on the east side of Highway 101, at the George Flamson Middle School campus.

District staff did not agree. According to the staff report, the Flamson campus was initially built as a high school. To reconfigure the site for elementary students would cost approximately $27,555,500 while moving the dual immersion program to Lewis would cost roughly $9,692,500.

Trustee Enney argued the plan would not allow students to walk or bike to school and was too disruptive, before voting no. Trustee Peterson said the plan would not serve the majority of students and their families.

Trustee Jim Cogan then modified his motion to include a requirement the district provide transportation services to students the plan displaces. The board then voted 5-2 in support of Cogan’s motion.

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Well whatever, I can’t wait for the phone to just be answered and not start out with a 1 or a 2. I do not want to continue the expense of bilingual labels like they do in Canada. Surely we can all speak as many languages we want to learn but the taxpayers should only fund English. I’ll admit that I do enjoy hearing my native language, Spanish, but I’m not going back. The first thing immigrants should do is learn English and people should not desire to treat immigrants as 2nd class residents. Additionally, people should not be required to learn whatever language the immigrant speaks. It is a good gesture to try as a courteously when help is needed but that is a personal choice.