French education in demand in Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS - The wave of Hispanics who flooded the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina doesn't appear to have dampened Louisiana families' demand for their children to get a French education.
There's a waiting list at all 29 of the state's public French immersion programs. At least one school - the International School of Louisiana in New Orleans - received more applications for its French program this year than ever before.
Demand for Spanish language education remains strong, both for local use and as a language of inter-American commerce. But even some Spanish-speakers are seeking French language education for their children.
Gayle Perez, a New Orleans native who grew up speaking Spanish, enrolled her son in ISL's French program because of the language's place in New Orleans' history and in the world.