Education

State Journal

May 01, 2002 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Parent Power

In a state education budget of more than $6 billion, a $2 million program that serves just 2 percent of Georgia’s elementary students might not seem too important.

But two of the children in that foreign-language program belong to Linda Steindorf of Roswell.

Earlier this year, Ms. Steindorf was looking for local press coverage of a study that ranked the program as the best of its kind when she instead discovered that the program was on the state budget chopping block.

Learning that their children’s beloved program was going to be terminated, she and other parents decided to let lawmakers know how they felt.

“Don’t throw this away. This is huge,” Ms. Steindorf said of the 2001 study by the Center for Applied Linguistics, a research and teacher education group in Washington. “We never get to say we’re number one in Georgia.”

Calling themselves the Georgia Coalition for Language Learning, the parents jumped into action. They wrote letters, sent e-mail messages, visited the state Capitol, and delivered origami baskets to legislators. As a result, lawmakers restored full funding for the program. The final verdict rests with Democratic Gov. Roy E. Barnes, who had not signed the budget as of last week.

The Center for Applied Linguistics concluded that children in the program were “making commendable progress in acquiring a foreign language” and that the initiative was a “model program, not just for Georgia, but for the country.”

Ms. Steindorf’s children, ages 8 and 10, have been taking Japanese since they began kindergarten at Mimosa Elementary, which is in the 69,700- student Fulton County district. French, German, and Spanish are also taught in 27 schools statewide that are part of the program.

Elizabeth Webb, a program specialist at the Georgia Department of Education, said she hopes funding is not only maintained, but that the program is replicated more widely throughout the state.

—Linda Jacobson

A version of this article appeared in the May 01, 2002 edition of Education Week

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 18, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Letter to the Editor EdWeek's Most-Read Letters of 2022
Here are this year’s top five Letters to the Editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words Withstanding Trauma, Leading With Honesty, and More: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our journalists highlight why stories on the impact of trauma on schooling and the fallout of the political discourse on race matter to the field.
4 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
Education In Their Own Words Masking, Miscarriages, and Mental Health: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our reporters share the stories they wrote that rose above the fray—and why.
5 min read
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week