World Languages Program Funding Cut In Shelby County

(Shelby County) One language is all your child may learn due to cuts made by the Shelby County School Board.

The World Languages budget was cut by about $400,000.

Hola, bonjour, and privet are all words students may never learn, following cuts made by the Shelby County School Board Tuesday night.

Robin Boyd’s daughter is a Peabody Elementary student who takes World Languages.

“My daughter does Russian,” Boyd said. “She did Mandarin, Spanish and Arabic.”

Boyd has lost faith in school leaders after hearing the budget for World Languages was cut from $2 million down to $1.6 million for the 2014-2015 school year.

“I’m kind of disappointed with board’s decisions on a lot of things that I’ve been seeing as a parent,” Boyd said.

With many Shelby County students struggling to meet reading requirements in English, the school board argues that is the language schools should be focusing on.

Shelby County School Board member Chris Caldwell said, “Schools where there was not proficiency in reading in third grade… that it is more important for the students to get support that area.”

However, Boyd thinks the time to teach kids is when they are young.

“Young minds are able to absorb more easily than being 20 years old and trying other programs to gain the language skills that are needed for that job,” she pointed out.

Boyd fears the board does not have her daughters best interests at heart. “Invest into our children, instead of into their pockets,” she said.

Caldwell said the board does the best it can.

“If everybody’s angry with you, than you’re doing a good job,” he said. “There’s not enough money to satisfy everyone. So, we have to make some tough decisions.”

World Languages is a legally mandated program and is a state graduation requirement in Tennessee.

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