Letter to the editor: Plum school board needs to rethink harmful academic cuts
I have written this letter to join the voices of other parents expressing concern to the Plum School Board that proposed budget cuts will jeopardize the educational success of our children.
Cutting foreign language programs is a proposal that puts our students' success at risk since most universities now require three years of foreign language for admission. Substituting online foreign language classes is ludicrous. As a professor at the University of Pittsburgh who has both participated in and implemented online learning, I believe that this option will fail our students. While many will be able to score well enough on online tests to receive passing grades, few will actually learn foreign languages. One must certainly converse in a language to truly learn it.
If the prospect of failing our students is not enough to make us rethink this proposal, we should consider how reducing our commitment to education would affect property values. An educational plan that does not meet college admissions criteria may prevent housing and economic growth, as young families may opt for school districts with better promises of academic success. We are still reeling from negative public perceptions. Do we really want to give families considering a move to Plum one more reason to choose another school district?
I appreciate that the school board has a very difficult task ahead. However, you ran on the promise that you will put our children's needs first. You must keep that promise. You must do better.