Franklin Magnet Elementary School in Glendale

French dignitaries, including Senator Claudine LePage, visited the French immersion Kindergarten class, taught by Valerie Sun, standing next to children, at Franklin Magnet Elementary School in Glendale on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / May 15, 2013)

A Glendale elementary school that was once nearly shuttered for its declining enrollment -- only to make a major comeback through its popular dual-language immersion programs -- has reached another milestone.

As fewer students are considered impoverished, Franklin Magnet Elementary will no longer receive supplemental funds from the federal government starting in the next school year.

Schools qualify to receive Title 1 funds when a 35% or more of their students are eligible to receive free or reduced priced lunches because they come from low-income households. The funds are used for enrichment programs, professional development opportunities for teachers, and efforts to rally parent involvement.

In 2012-13, Franklin Elementary received $106,000 in federal funds, due to 38% of the school's population being eligible for free and reduced lunches that year.

But by the start of the current school year, that figure 29.5%, disqualifying the school.

Kelly King, assistant supt. for Glendale Unified, attributed the shift in demographics to the school's dual-language immersion program.

Kindergartners through sixth graders in the program spend at least half the instructional day speaking and learning in French, Italian, Spanish or German.

During the last several years, the program has attracted students from other Glendale neighborhoods, as well as those beyond Glendale's city limits.

As the student population climbed to more than 500 students in recent years -- up from 328 in 2007-08 -- the demographics shifted.

"Part of that shift is a shift in economics of students who enroll and participate in the school," King said.

The change in demographics makes Franklin similar to schools such as La Crescenta Elementary -- where 26% of students come from low-income households – or Glenoaks Elementary, where 31% of students can receive free or reduced meals.

Sixteen Glendale schools will continue to receive federal funds, according to a district report.

Where Title 1 funds are meant to provide schools with resources that a school's surrounding community cannot provide, community participation at Franklin will help make up for the loss of the funds in 2014-15 at Franklin, King said.

"I'm sure they're going to feel it," King said of the loss of funding. "I'm also very confident -- knowing that school and community -- they will band together and meet the challenge. Whatever losses they feel, they will make up for it."

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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