We didn't have the option. I would bet each school district is different. More money, more options. Our government continues to put education on the back burner. Also, there are so many immigrants from other countries that the focus is just getting them all to English so that they can become a productive member of society, an issue most countries don't face in the same percentages we do. Every year more and more latin children come into this country not speaking any English at all. Then we have Asia, Russia, and all of the European countries contributing to the pot.
By the way, when visiting another country, I'm constantly amazed at how everyone in that country looks sort of related. Of course, that's silly but still shocking for an American who is used to so many cultures and gene types mixing together.