Kansas City: Parlez-Vous Francais?

Parlez-Vous Francais?

Under the pressure of a federal court desegregation order, the Kansas City school district this month opened six foreign-language magnet schools. To attract white students into predominantly black areas, the district intended to offer intensive elementary school classes in French, Spanish and German. But the plan hit a snag when the Immigration and Naturalization Service refused to approve visas for the 14 Belgian instructors hired to teach French.

The INS questions their credentials and the district's need for teachers of "distinguished merit." But administrators could not find Americans capable of teaching elementary school in French. Says Personnel Officer Bonnie Sims: "We...