I am writing today to express my support for the foreign language immersion program. As a parent Great Falls Elementary School’s Japanese Immersion Program, I can attest to its unique value.
<Insert personal story here>
As the difficult budget process unfolds, I hope that you will keep three things in mind:
- Budget cuts, if they must come, can come in a manner that does not require cuts to programs. A budget that spreads the cuts widely will preserve programs. (Sample budget attached below)
- Budget cuts that eliminate a program may lead to higher costs elsewhere. For example, the immersion program currently serves over 4,000 students, at a projected cost of $1.9 million. But over half are from out-of-district schools. By FCPS rules, these students cannot have bus service, and are not eligible for additional services. The cost of busing and services alone for these students returning to their home schools would cancel out most of the savings.
- Language immersion provides unique benefits to the community, by attracting foreign business interest in Fairfax County, among other benefits. Just to give one example, Great Falls Elementary School has long-standing ties with Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s family, and just last spring GFES hosted a visit to the school by Ms. Abe and First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
The cost-benefit ratio of foreign language immersion in clear, and I hope you will consider preserving this unique and beneficial program. Thank you for your consideration, and feel free to reach out to me with any questions.
CC: Steven.Lockard@fcps.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org, Marty.Smith@fcps.edu, Susan.Quinn@fcps.edu, Christine.Donohue@fcps.edu, John.Foster@fcps.edu, Ryan.McElveen@fcps.edu, Sonya.Montano@fcps.edu, email@example.com, Ted.Velkoff@fcps.edu, Kathy.Partlow@fcps.edu, Megan.McLaughlin@fcps.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jane.Strauss@fcps.edu, Melanie.Turpin@fcps.edu, Pat.Hynes@fcps.edu, email@example.com, Joann.Kinney@fcps.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org, Daniel.Storck@fcps.edu, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Elizabeth.Schultz@fcps.edu, Kathy.L.Smith@fcps.edu, Schoolboardmembers@fcps.edu, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com