Letter to the Editor

Don't cut French program

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dear editor,

Junior high and high school students, parents and staff woke up last week to a startling discovery ó our high school French program has been scrapped. No discussion. No options given. Just cut.

Mr. Foster, our French teacher, is a former Mountain Home High School student himself. His high school French teacher fostered in him a love of the French language and culture.

Mr. Fosterís love of the French language and culture given to him by his teacher changed the course of his life. He went on to college, where he studied the French language.

He spent time studying and living in Paris before deciding to give back to the community that had given so much to him, returning to Mountain Home to teach.

Mr. Foster shares his passion for the French language with his students and has taken several trips to France over the summers, which is an amazing opportunity for our rural students.

Cutting Mountain Homeís French program is a bad decision. Not only is a foreign language a required humanities credit for high school graduation, at least two years of foreign language in high school is necessary for future college students.

Small towns have difficulties attracting people with knowledge in diverse foreign languages. Why would we turn away from this precious resource that we have in Mr. Foster?

If we hope to offer up the world to our children, we are making a serious mistake by cutting French because 220 million people speak French. It is the third-most used language on the Internet and a language that opens up economic opportunities, literature, art and music to its speakers.

Mountain Home Air Force Base is a major economic force for our community. It is wonderful because it brings diversity to our small town.

However, having the Air Force in our community also poses challenges. Our schools are funded partially through property tax money.

Some of our students in Mountain Home live on the base and because their parents donít own property in the community, they arenít contributing that tax money to the local school system. This is dealt with from the Air Force by providing what is called "Impact Aid" money to Air Force communities.

Right now, that money is several years late in reaching our schools. All of our students, including the children of Air Force members, are suffering the results of not seeing that compensation through these cuts.

I would like to respectfully ask that rather than cut programs that are important to our students, we address the issue of helping the Mountain Home Schools receive the Impact Aid money that they so desperately need to keep programs that are so important to our students.

Please contact the superintendent and the Mountain Home Air Force Base school liaison officer to let them know these cuts are a bad decision. Find out what we can do to receive the Impact Aid that our schools so desperately need to continue offering quality programs.

Our children and their teachers deserve our support.

Sincerely,

ó Rebecca Lampman,

Mountain Home

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