Catalina Foothills drops plan to teach
Spanish in all grades
Arizona Daily Star
June 19, 2006
By Jeff Commings
Tucson, Arizona | Published:
The Catalina Foothills School District is temporarily
dropping its plan to teach Spanish in all grades, citing a delay in release of
the state budget.
The district was set to become the first in Pima County to
make foreign-language instruction mandatory at all grade levels. Spanish was to
be taught in K-8 classes, and remain one of the languages students could use to
fulfill the foreign-language requirement in high school.
Because the district is not likely to know how much state
money they will get until July, district officials told the Governing Board that
it would be impossible for staff to implement the plan in time for the next
"To find eight highly qualified teachers and to develop a
curriculum ... it's getting really late," said Mary Jo Conery, the district's
director of 21st-century curriculum.
The district first brought the plan to the board in
January. Conery and Superintendent Mary Kamerzell visited schools in the spring
to talk to parents about the program, and officials scoured job fairs for
It created a debate on both sides. Some parents wanted the
money that would have been devoted to the program – about $439,000 – to help
decrease class sizes or fund better art classes. Those in favor of it said it
would help students prepare for an increasingly globalized society.