NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

March 26, 2014

Students will suffer if budget cuts are made

(Continued)

Several years ago, it was cut from grades K-6 and for the past several years there has been no foreign language instruction of any form at the middle school. Already the foreign language teachers are finding themselves teaching honors and college prep classes in the same block. With the cuts, the high school’s already understaffed foreign language department of three would be further reduced, resulting in even larger classes, fewer sections and the removal of advanced language courses.

Amesbury has all but abandoned its foreign language instruction despite the heavy requirements colleges place on foreign language. If our schools can’t give students the basic skills to move on to further education, where will our graduates find themselves?

The fact of the matter is, when you devalue schools, you devalue the entire community.

As the mayor seems to have understood at one point in time, a good school system attracts residents and increases property value, thereby attracting more business and industry. In essence, a good school system can make a town successful.

The change is not immediate, but it won’t come at all if we continue this trend of school divestment. If we claim to be a community that values families and children, then we must stand behind our rhetoric.

Please join Amesbury students, teachers and community members in a march to Market Square in Amesbury this Friday, followed by a musical and artistic rally in the square.

If you have any doubts about the value of education, stop by on Friday and see how these programs have built strong young men and women who deserve our full support.

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Patrick Hopkins, an AHS alumnus, is a student at Hofstra University.

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