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 school year.

"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 potential teachers.

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.