English electives idea on hold due to budget deficit

March 8, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran and Emily Williams

As a result of the district’s budget woes, the English department has decided to temporarily postpone the idea of adding an elective-based curriculum at the junior and senior levels. The reason is that the department is still not sure of how many of its current 13 teachers will have jobs next year or the year after to in order to take on this challenge.

“While it is something we would like to revisit, right now it definitely has to take a backseat,” said English department chair Jason Friend. “Our biggest concern at the moment is that the budget crisis could result in a potentially significant increase in English class sizes, which would make it much harder to give students the individualized help that they need.”

The English department has been hit especially hard since in November when they surveyed students about possible English electives for juniors and seniors as an alternative for taking regular English classes. Since then, the district has announced that the department will have larger English 9 class sizes for next year and some teachers may be laid off.

“I honestly don’t know [how soon we can bring this back.] The budget situation looks pretty bleak for the foreseeable future,” said Friend. “I’m not sure that we will be able to move forward until a solution is found to stabilize the district’s budget over the long term.”

After a receiving a good response from a survey in November, the department was exploring the idea of starting the new curriculum the year after next. Other challenges needing to be worked out include which classes would be offered, how honors credit would be awarded and who would teach the various classes.

Though the idea of English electives is not entirely dead, Friend said, “I feel very disappointed since we had put a substantial amount of work into it and had received such a positive response to the idea from students.”

2 views this week