District says adios to K-7 spanish


Ben Prengler

With all of next years budget cuts, the district is cutting the kindergarten through seventh grade spanish program.

Sydney Grissom, Staff Reporter

Learning foreign languages early is proven to be easier than trying to learn at later ages, however students in the Lovejoy ISD will not have that opportunity in 2014-15 as a result of budget cuts.

“The district administration looked at suspending a variety of enhancements that we have in Lovejoy,” Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum Dennis Muziers said. “We defined enhancements as those programs or positions that one would not find throughout many school districts in Texas. Spanish in K-7 was a program that was identified as a program that is rare among districts in Texas. Given the funding cuts that Lovejoy has received from the Texas Legislators during the last two legislative sessions, the difficult decision was made to suspend Spanish in grades K-7 until the financial picture from Austin is improved. Keeping Spanish in grades 8-12 still allows students to earn their graduation requirement credits.”

Although Spanish for younger students is out for now, it may not be for long.

“We hope to reinstate some or all of the K-7 Spanish program when the budget will allow,” Muziers said.

The elimination of the early foreign language opportunity isn’t a popular move with some students.

“Having the Spanish program here seemed to be a beneficial thing for the younger kids and it is upsetting that they had to let it go,” sophomore Michelle Rodriguez said. “Teaching kids language at early ages needs to be happening more often, not disappearing.”

While the effects will immediately be felt on the elementary school level, the loss of the K-7 Spanish program will eventually be felt at the high school.

“I think the K-7 program was very exclusive to us, and Lovejoy is the only district that I know of in this area that provided a K-12 language program,” AP Spanish teacher Mallin Hernandez said. “That not being the case anymore, the kids are coming in without a base in language and without that special cultural touch that they had in lower grades.  As a teacher, as an educator loving what I do, the language that I teach and the culture that I’m from, I think it’s not good for the students to not have that opportunity from the time they are little. When they are little is when they really grasp and they are sponges. Not that they can’t learn when they come to high school, it’s just a little bit of a disadvantage.”

An early start in Spanish can be an advantage in later learning, but it was a cut the district felt was necessary and one that is understood even if not liked.

“Especially because our district is unique in many ways and so when we have an AP program and we are really competing against schools and districts that have a high Hispanic population, that was our thing, that we had K-7,” Hernandez said. “I understand why it was cut, but I don’t particularly like the idea of it not being in the school anymore.”