San Francisco Pinoys Win Tagalog Education Funding

It took weeks for some members of the Filipino community in San Francisco to push officials to provide funding and support for Tagalog classes in the city. In the end, their efforts paid off.  Video credit: ABS-CBN News. 

After weeks of hard work, members of the Filipino community in San Francisco celebrates their win for tagalog education.  San Francisco Unified School District has decided to hire its first full-time Tagalog speaking teacher on special assignment to begin next school year. 

San Francisco Unified School District had originally excluded funding for Filipinos in its $1.9million 2015-2016 budget for multilingual education for kindergarten to 8th grade students. Filipino students make up 5 percent of the affected student population.

"I’m very happy, for me and my daughter, because the budget we have been fighting for has been approved. It’s not just for me and my family but for all the Filipino families in San Francisco," said Robert Abad, whose child goes to West Bay. 

School officials have also pledged to expand Tagalog programs to the third grade level at Long Fellow Elementary and Bessie Carmichael, which both currently offer enrichment programs in kindergarten through second grades.

“We’d like to thank San Francisco School Board Commissioner Hydra Mendoza and President Emily Murase. They were the biggest advocates for Filipinos. It was obvious right from the beginning that zero dollars for the Filipino community is a total inequity and unacceptable and they championed our cause," said Vivian Zalvidea Araullo, the executive director of the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center.

Parents and community advocates say that they will continue their hard work in advocating at the San Francisco School Board their goal of having a Tagalog class be available in the middle school and high school levels.

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