Dodge City Public Schools in need of ESL teachers

DODGE CITY, Kan. (KWCH) More than half of Dodge City school students come from other countries, but the district has lost many of its teachers who are certified to work with those students.

Now, the school board is looking at incentives to recruit and retain them.

Dodge City schools are looking for new ways to have teachers who are endorsed to teach the ESL, or English as a second language program.

The conversation was brought up after the schools found more than 50 percent of the students come from different countries.

"The last time that we looked at something like that we saw that we had about 17 different nationalities here in Dodge City. We have students that came predominantly from Mexico but 53 percent of our students come from different countries," said Robert Vinton, the USD 443 Director of ESL/Migrant program.

Dodge City schools are losing ESL endorsed teachers. Now, new options are being considered to find new ones.

"All that we want to do is to ensure we are able to provide teachers an incentive for getting their ESL endorsement and we're not really sure what that incentive is going to look like," said Vinton.

He wants to remind everyone the importance of different languages in Dodge City, but also the importance of learning English.

"It's very much in the interest of this country to maintain and to keep the language of the children in place but also that they learn English. That is the fundamental mission of what we do. And that they learn English and they learn it well," said Vinton.

The school board has not confirmed a possible solution but it says it will continue having the discussion.