Education Without Barriers forms to aid Spanish-speaking students

A newly formed advocacy group is pushing for change. Education Without Barriers says about 14,000 students in North Carolina are struggling just to be understood in schools all because of a language barrier.

It was a problem Carmin Roldan said she saw firsthand.

"It was very sad to know that until I showed up there was this huge gap in communication," said Roldan, with Education Without Barriers.

As a former translator for Wake County Schools, Roldan knew something had to be done.

"Considering that we are trying to become a better state, more progressive state, and for us to not have those kinds of services provided to our kids... because these are our students," she said.

So, Education Without Barriers was born.

Along with other grassroots advocacy groups, they've started working with Spanish-speaking families trying to understand the struggles they face when navigating North Carolina's school systems.

"This student group has such extreme and urgent unmet academic needs," said Sarah Montgomery, with Education Without Barriers.

The group says students learning English as a second language don't have access to resources they need in schools and they're left behind academically.

"The goal is policy change. The goal is to secure more investments, more support and services," Montgomery said.

And their work is just getting started.

As far as when their mission is complete, "Never. Never, I mean I will feel good when we have good bilingual programs in place," Roldan said.

At the beginning of June, Education Without Barriers sent out a letter of support.

They received nearly 30 signatures from groups across North Carolina.
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