GHS Will Still Offer French in ’24-25

Following is Principal Hart’s April 1, 2024, email in response to concerns that Garfield might not be able to offer French as a World Language in 2024-25.

Dear Garfield High School Parents and Guardians,

Budget cuts are difficult to navigate, particularly in a comprehensive high school. Yet, we are tasked with deciding where to make cuts during this budgetary crisis, fully understanding that no matter where we reduce, there will be an impact on our educational offerings. Our budget for next school year, marked by additional cuts to our teacher full-time equivalent (FTE) allocations and less discretionary funding available to buffer these reductions, necessitates tough decisions that directly influence the breadth of our educational programs.

Every reduction in staffing or resources has ripple effects across our curriculum. The hard truth is that losing staff means an inevitable reduction in course offerings. This is the stark reality of budget cuts: they force us to make difficult choices, knowing that each decision will impact courses. It’s a balancing act of making the least harmful cuts while striving to maintain the integrity and diversity of our curriculum, ensuring that all students have access to courses and pathways required for graduation.

Despite these challenges, we’ve worked diligently to mitigate the impact on our students and programs. Through strategic financial planning and the generous support of our Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA), we’ve navigated this fiscal landscape with a focus on minimizing the adverse effects on our community.

I am pleased to share that, by utilizing limited carry-forward funds, we’ve managed to preserve 0.6 FTE for our French language program. Retaining this FTE allows us to maintain French course offerings next school year, albeit at a reduced capacity. Retaining this FTE is a significant achievement under the circumstances and reflects a commitment to providing a well-rounded education that includes exposure to world languages.

We want to be transparent about the challenges we face and our decisions in response. Our priority remains the education and well-being of our students, and we are dedicated to exploring every possible avenue to support and enhance our academic offerings, even in times of financial constraint. I also want to be transparent in stating that a reduction in FTE is unavoidable without additional funding.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support as we work through these difficult decisions. Your engagement with our school community is invaluable as we strive to navigate these challenges together.

In partnership,

Principal Hart