As noted in the AJC article by Jamie Sarrio, the APS foreign language offerings will be expanded more evenly across the system. Per the article,
“Atlanta Public Schools is introducing changes this fall to its foreign language program to address these issues and more. The district has one of the most comprehensive foreign language programs in the state, but as in many systems, access to different languages varies from school to school.”
“… elementary instruction will be reduced from 150 to 90 minutes a week. The reduced class time will free up teachers, who will be reassigned to middle and high schools, where services will be expanded.”
Based on the financial information for the foreign language department, it appears that they are doing more with only a small change in available resources. The numbers of positions in this department have stayed constant at 114 since FY09. Salaries and Employee Benefits increased by 3.7% over FY12, but my sense is that this is likely to a sharper pencil being used to establish the budget as there were no raises incorporated into the FY13 Budget.
So, more opportunity for the students and there is no significant increase in spending. This is a trend I can live with!
Anita Lawrence, APS World Languages Coordinator – take a well-deserved bow! The standing ovation you hear from the taxpayers, students and parents is for your excellent efforts and leadership!