Letter: Saving foreign language offerings makes sense by Patricia LaFevre
As many of you are aware, one of the proposed cuts if the referendum fails to pass is to eliminate German from the foreign language program, reducing our foreign language staff from three positions to two.
This should concern our community for a number of reasons. One of the strengths of the School District of Rhinelander has always been its robust and diverse AP and college-bound offerings. This commitment to quality education draws people and employers to our area.
Foreign language is a vital component of these offerings and students can earn up to 16 college credits for their high school coursework, depending on their placement scores. Additionally, two consecutive years of one language is a requirement for entrance for many colleges. The recommendation for competitive college admissions is four years.
It may seem that cutting German is an acceptable budget savings as Spanish will still be offered. However, with only two full-time staff members, the high school will not be able to meet the needs of the current number of students in foreign language. We will either need to cap the number of students who take lower levels of language or eliminate the upper levels to compensate. This could result in students not being admitted to the colleges of their choice and certainly in a reduction of the college credits earned.
This level of staffing will also place us below the levels of many smaller districts in our region and will encourage people and businesses to locate elsewhere. Quality education for our students is an investment in everyone’s future.
Please vote “yes” to the referendum on Feb. 19 and keep our schools strong and competitive.
Patricia LaFevre, Rhinelander