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ESFL in the News

2007 Update!

By now many of you have heard about the Elementary School Foreign Languages model challenge. Governor Perdue's FY '08 budget includes the removal of $1,590,857 from the ESFL model program and reallocates it to QBE to provide Foreign Language Media Materials for Elementary School students statewide. (on p. 146 of an enormous document). Given 1,284 elementary schools, that comes to about $1,200 per school.

On Monday January 29, 2007, James Salzer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution did an article entitled "Language classes may be cut at schools." It was front page, below the fold, in the far right column (no picture). Below is a link to the article. There were more than 13 pages of comments mostly pro ESFL.

That same Monday, Marcia Spielberger, Corinne Barnes, Cathy Flynn, and I visited the Capitol. We were fortunate to meet with some of the leadership on key committees. We also left information. But the challenge doesn't stop there. We need your help.

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Austin Elementary parent Heath Barker, the e-mails of the Education and Appropriations committees in both chambers have been compiled. This Herculean task took many, many hours and we thank Heath enormously and wish her a speedy recovery from her broken ankle.

We need to write the Governor, key legislative committee members, and don't forget your home district legislators.

You might write about how the importance of early language learning grows by the day. In our post 9-11 world, National Security depends in large part on our (sadly inadequate) second language abilities. For those of you who've read The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman, you're aware of our rapidly changing world. Many fully believe China will lead the Global Economy in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within 20 years. Today, children in economically booming China are learning English. Here at home, in 2003 Georgia businesses exported over $16 billion in products to countries around the world. That was a 13% increase over 2002 export levels. Even our health may be impacted by language abilities as dire predictions for a global pandemic are made by health professionals. You may have seen that the bi-lingual brain is believed to be more resistant to dementia.

ESLF Children make an Impression on State Capitol

On a lighter note, the governor's staff and legislators get a real kick out of children's letters. We have taken ESFL kids to the Capitol. Large groups of elementary children are hard to ignore, especially when they greet legislators in other languages wearing special items.

Your local newspapers may be interested in this story. The press raises awareness. Remember, most legislators want to be re-elected.

Please remember to:

1. Be Polite

2. Be Positive

3. Be Truthful/ Speak from the heart

4. AND remember, this is a non-partisan program that's good for all children.

More ESFL News.....


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