Letters: Former French teacher laments program cut

To the editor:

I wish to share with you my deep disheartenment over the news of the termination of the Brown County High School French program. This is a disservice to all who cherish public education.

I taught in your school corporation for over 30 years, and the students in this school system were exceptional and deserve the best education has to offer. The French curriculum, in place for 50-plus years, exposed them to new cultures, traditions and travel, and it reinforced nearly every other academic discipline, especially English.

I understand the budget crisis in the corporation, brought on by voucher support in the state legislature, former superintendents without vision as to future implications of their spending and the unique situation of our county: a miniscule tax base due to the vast park lands and lack of industry.

Survival is the question, but what family is going to choose to come to a school district with only one language offering (if it is even available for those who chose to begin French in 2017-18)? I am concerned that this is just the beginning of the cuts, and I fear for our students and their futures at Brown County High School.

I wish Superintendent Laura Hammack and Brown County residents much strength and wisdom in resolving this crisis in local education; may you find a workable and beneficial solution for all, as we never settled for “just average” in the past. BCHS students and families deserve much more than that.

Sincerely,

Dorothy Ryan Owen, French teacher, 1973-2004

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