Well, it looks like the middle school athletic programs have been saved from the chopping block, at least for now. The Columbia County Board of Education met recently, and there were obviously enough calls and e-mails by concerned parents that they decided to give the athletic program another year while they analyze the costs to the budget.
My husband attended that Tuesday morning meeting along with other parents from my neighborhood who care about what happens in our school system. They care about athletics, yes, and all the benefits to students who are involved in these sports. But make no mistake about it: They also deeply care about the academic curriculum that is taught in their children's schools as well.
Although I was happy that the athletic programs were saved, for now, I am still deeply concerned that the Spanish program cuts to all middle schools appear to be a "done deal." The job of our schools is to prepare our students to be the best and brightest they can be, to be intelligent, competitive and well-rounded students in both athletics and academics.
Our children are the future of this country and must be prepared to live in a world that is very different than the world most of us grew up in. Spanish is quickly becoming America's second-most-spoken language, yet Columbia County chooses to eliminate this valuable program.
Statistics show that the earlier a child learns a foreign language, the more they will retain. A Columbia County elementary school currently has its own Spanish program, yet the middle school foreign-language program gets the boot?
I don't believe anything is a "done deal." Please call or e-mail the Board of Education to let them know that you are just as concerned with academics in our schools as you are with athletics. To Superintendent Charles Nagle, we care - we care very much!
Columbia County currently enjoys a surplus of approximately $28 million. What is that money used for? Shouldn't it be used to provide our children with the best education possible?
Is the county saving that money for a rainy day? Well, look outside - it's pouring! As for foreign language education in Columbia County, I guess for now my children will have to settle for the bi-lingual education program offered at the local home improvement centers.
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