As America's population nears 300 million, the number of people living here who speak little or no English increases nearly every day. Right now, for example, English is a second language for nearly 5.5 million schoolchildren, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
So what are public schools to do when students come in and only speak one language and that language is not English?
Well, most schools give those children intensive instruction in English with the hopes they learn the language quickly. But we visited a school district in Texas that, along with some other districts in the Lone Star State, has a different idea.
Officials in Bryan, Texas, offer a program in some classrooms in which Spanish is used for up to 90 percent of the day. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are taught for the most part in Spanish.
The theory is that too many non-English speaking kids get lost when they start learning all their subjects in a language they don't know. They quickly fall behind other students; some of them never catch up.
Officials in Bryan took us into classrooms to see how their program works. We saw one crowded classroom with enthusiastic children playing computer games in Spanish. We also saw a class doing the Pledge of Allegiance in English and Spanish. The officials tell us the program is so popular that there are waiting lists to get in; and the waiting lists include native English speakers.
As it turns out, roughly half the kids in the classes were born and raised in the United States and have parents who want them to be fluent in Spanish.
So the question we pose in our story that airs on "360" is this: Is there an issue with American taxpayers footing the bill for public school education taught primarily in Spanish?
We interview the head of the English First organization who says bilingual education "has never worked." He adds that children who can't speak English should get more intensive English instruction to get them caught up. Meanwhile, officials in Bryan are considering expanding their offerings in Spanish.