Some districts have offered before- or after-school elective classes in languages to take advantage of those early learning years when picking up a language is easier. Many of those programs, though, have disappeared because of funding cuts.

Cahokia offers some Spanish only at the Wirth School of Choice, which already has a principal and teacher who speaks Spanish. “It isn’t to the level where we can hire a Spanish teacher,” Superintendent Pam Manning said.

Habla usted espanol? Schools are looking for you – Candidate profiles –