Iowa students plan effort to save German classes



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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Some students are unhappy about the Iowa City school district's plan to cut its German language program and reduce offerings in other languages as part of budget cuts.

The German language will be phased out gradually by removing first-level classes in the fall, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported (http://icp-c.com/1esfuaP ). Higher-level German classes would remain available to students for now.

Students gathered Thursday at City High School to express their disappointment. They said they will use social media to garner support against the decision. They also plan to attend a future Iowa City Community School Board meeting.

Officials said in its decision Tuesday that the cuts — which includes an end to foreign language classes altogether for seventh-graders — are necessary to reduce spending and keep the district's general fund in check.

City High Principal John Bacon said 90 students at the school signed up to take German classes next year. That includes 15 students who signed up for first-level class.

That compares with more than 160 students who signed up for French and more than 820 students who signed up for Spanish, he said.

"Anytime you're looking at making budget reductions, it's an extremely challenging thing to do," he said.

West High Principal Jerry Arganbright noted a similar pattern in terms of enrollment. He said officials took those numbers into account while deciding what to eliminate.

"That's the dilemma we face," he said.

However, students can sign up for German courses at the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. The courses would be covered under the district's post-secondary enrollment option, the newspaper reported.

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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