Streator High School and the Foreign Service Group will have a do-over on their agreement to allow Chinese foreign exchange students study at the high school.
Last year, the high school agreed to accept a maximum of 20 Chinese foreign exchange students for the second semester; however, the Foreign Service Group couldn’t find enough students who wanted to enter into a program mid-year.
The company says it has students who have applied to study in Streator, and the board agreed Tuesday to allow a maximum of 20 students study for the length of the school year beginning in August, with terms remaining largely the same.
Board members Steve Biroschik and Willy Williamson offered dissenting votes. Williamson did not favor the agreement the first time and Biroschik joined him Tuesday with a “no” vote.
Biroschik said he was growing skeptical of the program’s commitment to Streator.
“I’m not sure they are 100 percent coming. We don’t see anybody here, it’s only phone calls,” he said after the meeting. “It has nothing to do with politics, and I hope it works out.”
Foreign Service (China) Group bought Sherman School and the former Immaculate Conception Church. The company intends to train students and teachers in English at its Sherman campus. Visa laws allow the high school to only educate exchange students for one year, so if they would have started in January, they would have to leave in December.
The company will be responsible for the tuition of each student.
If it follows its prior agreement, the exchange students will be tested for English proficiency and screened by Streator High School’s administration before they are accepted. The administration can expel any student and tuition will be nonrefundable. The board also has been sure to give itself options to end the agreement.