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RE: School budget: Town Meeting will vote on world language funding, Baldwin School renovation

May 30, 2024
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I’m a resident, parent, and veteran Brookline High School Spanish teacher. My high school World Language colleagues and I testify to the efficacy of our elementary World Language program, even as those teachers have been overstretched and under supported in recent years. Our BHS students are achieving higher levels of language proficiency than ever before in my career. Right now we’re piloting a standardized proficiency assessment in many of our classes, and the scores are coming in off the charts. We see these scores because our students have had so many years of exposure, experience, and comfort with language learning. Elementary World Language instruction provides the foundation our students need to achieve MA State Seal of Biliteracy at the high school, a stated goal of our school leaders. None of my colleagues imagines that tonight’s Town Meeting budget amendment to restore some funding should reinstate the status quo. The goal is not to use one-time funds for a long-term expense, but rather save a smaller, reimagined, viable version of this program for next year, while we determine a sustainable way to support a robust and healthy program. My colleagues and I are excited to partner with school leaders to make this happen.

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