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What we think: Spanish program is an imperative

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The Shelby County School Board is considering expanding a pilot program to all elementary and middle schools. It must do that.

The continued consideration by the Shelby County School Board of expanding to all elementary- and middle-school students a pilot program for learning Spanish appears to us to be a waste of time.

Because there should be no pause in implementing this expansion.

Shelby County’s increasing diversity, the role of Spanish in the world’s culture and the opportunity for students to be immersed in its intricacies at an early age make this a simple decision.

Yes, there is an expense, not an insignificant expense, and the requisite concern for those dollars, but we would suggest that dollars could not be spent more appropriately in the curriculum provided to our youngest students.

We applaud the work being done by Susan Burkhardt and Julester Bennett in the pilot program at Southside Elementary to bring the language to their students. We like their approach and believe it should be embraced with a firm grasp.

Members of our school board are elected because we feel they will be responsible in looking out for the best interests of our students, not simply the best interest of all residents.

Yes, a concern about higher taxes is important, but the school board has continued a trend of raising taxes for all manner of reasons.

Nothing should come before a total commitment to providing the best and most appropriate education possible.

That, in our view, must include Spanish from the very first years of school.

Without that commitment, we can’t imagine our students ever to be college or career ready.