One of the areas that was not going to be funded in the 08-09 budget was the expansion of foreign language in 3rd - 5th grade. We received many suggestions to find a way to get foreign language in the rest of the schools - The administration took that to task and has now found a way to make it happen. With the authors permission, below is an example of a letter the Board received on this topic. I believe in what the author has written and am thankful they took the time to write. I'm also thankful the administration worked hard to find a way to make it happen next year.
Rock Hill School District #3 Board Member
660 N. Anderson Road
Rock Hill, SC 29731
Dear School Board Member:
We are writing to express our concern for the possible budget cuts in the area of Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools. As you are aware, the Rock Hill School District has been phasing in the Foreign Language Program in the Elementary Schools over the past several years. The program is expected to be phased in at Ebinport, York Road, Mt. Holly, Lesslie, and Olde Point Elementary Schools for the 2008- 2009 school year.
While we are thankful for the quality of education our children are receiving at Ebinport Elementary School, there are opportunities they have missed due to timing of district implementations. Foreign Language is one of those missed opportunities. While we recognize the need to make budget cuts in certain areas of education due to lack of funding, Foreign Language is not one of those areas. To not implement Foreign Language in the above mentioned phase in schools in the Fall would be depriving the children who attend those schools of an equal education, thus depriving them of the tools necessary to enter Middle School on a level playing field.
We believe that if you look at this situation from various aspects an equitable solution could be found to save this program, thus enabling all elementary students in the district the same opportunity to learn a Foreign Language. While it would be nice to not cut the funding for this program at all, we would like to offer other possible solutions. One possible solution could be equally distributing current funding for the Foreign Language Program to all the schools, allowing the individual schools to determine where the additional funding should come from. Another solution would be to use the current foreign language teachers on staff, dividing their hours equally among all the elementary schools. While I am certain there are other solutions, these are just a few possible suggestions for solving this problem.
We thank you for considering other options for the Foreign Language Program in the Elementary Schools. We hope that an equitable solution can be found, affording all children in the Rock Hill School district equal opportunities. We trust that you will explore all options in order to keep the commitment of phasing in the Foreign Language Program in ALL of the District’s elementary schools by the 2008 – 2009 school year.