|American Educated Student on Left (Image by zinjixmaggir)|
Throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and in other regions of California, schools are cutting foreign language offerings in order to offset budget deficits, The Bay Citizen reported today. SFUSD sent out pink slips to six language instructors. Cupertino Union cut one middle school French teacher. Oakland says it plans on cutting one French and one Spanish teacher.
While the total numbers may seem small, the impacts are significant. Each teacher who is laid off represents at least 150 students who may be denied an opportunity to take a language class, as California schools routinely have 30-36 students per class. Thus, the cuts in just these three districts could result in more than 1350 students losing the opportunity to study Spanish, French or Mandarin, placing them at a disadvantage in the competition for a shrinking number of coveted spots in the University of California system.