The Jefferson Parish School board has approved bonuses for bilingual teachers who have many students for whom English is a second language.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that teachers who speak Spanish, Vietnamese or Arabic can get a $2,000 signing bonus and a $3,000 annual stipend for teaching a large number of bilingual students.

Superintendent James Meza says competition is stiff for bilingual teachers. He says the Dallas school district offers a $6,000 bonus and a $6,000 stipend.

The district administration will work out details such as the percentage of bilingual students needed to qualify, where the money will come from, and how to decide whether a teacher is bilingual.

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