Teachers said it would be a hardship on them to be certified. Parents were worried about losing longtime teachers who didn't want to get the training.
But after hearing comments and debating and discussing the issue for more than two hours, the Lawrence school board decided on a 5-1 vote tonight to go ahead with a controversial plan to designate Sunflower and Schwegler schools as "neighborhood" ESL schools.
However, after hearing from a packed board room of some 60 parents and about 20 teachers, Randy Weseman, superintendent, promised to work with the teaching staffs at the schools to try to accommodate teachers whose situations would make taking the ESL training a hardship.
Teachers would need to take 15 hours of classes and three hours of student teaching to become certified.
Adela Solis, president of the Lawrence Education Association, said after the meeting she was hopeful that the administration would work with teachers.
"There's still a lot of things that need to be discussed," Solis said.
Board member Craig Grant cast the only no vote on the measure, getting applause from the gathering of parents and teachers who attended.
For more on this story, pick up a copy of Tuesday's Journal-World.