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Mandarin dual language program is a vote for multiculturalism, respect

Mandarin magnet

In the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community, there has been heated debate about the Board of Education’s Sept. 20 decision to expand the district’s Mandarin Dual Language (MDL) Program into a full magnet elementary school (“As this school’s Mandarin language efforts expand, some other families feel pushed out,” Oct. 8). We want to set the record straight.

Because dual language classrooms are exempt from the K-3 class size mandate enacted by the state legislature, expanding the MDL program will ultimately save the district money. While most of our elementary schools will require extra classrooms and teachers by 2020, the overall number of teachers and classrooms at an MDL magnet will not need to increase, representing an annual savings of $350,000 in additional teacher salaries.

Dual language programs promote multiculturalism and provide dignity for minorities — and not only those who speak the target language. Such dignity cannot be measured in dollars, particularly now, as diversity and cultural difference have come under attack. Other districts have realized the immense benefits of dual language education and are scrambling to add it, not take it away: Wake County opened its own Mandarin magnet school in 2015. In Chapel Hill-Carrboro, expanding to an MDL magnet will save the district money while ensuring that our exemplary school system remains competitive with neighboring districts.

Ian and Michelle King

Chapel Hill

This letter was signed by 12 others

The stakes are high

There must be a point where our senators will put love of country over loyalty to a party that is trying to destroy it. This party has historically claimed to stand for personal morality but now supports blatant and shocking corruption as well as illegal and unconstitutional acts.

Republicans used to support the military and law enforcement, but now are complicit in the abuse and scapegoating of both. Instead of fiscal and environmental conservatism, they drive up deficits and deny the climate crisis which is destroying the. Racial resentments are intentionally stoked and racist voter suppression is openly practiced.

All branches of U.S. intelligence agree that the president was elected with the considerable help of a foreign adversary. Increasingly, he sows chaos and division at home and abroad. If our senators want to really represent the people of North Carolina, they will join Sen. Flake and refuse to vote for any judicial confirmations until the Mueller investigation is protected.

Sen McConnell is refusing to allow the bipartisan bill which Senator Tillis co-sponsored and which would protect the investigation. He very much wants to confirm those judges. (One of them, Thomas Farr, would be a disaster for North Carolina.) The stakes are very high.

Over the holidays, there will be no Congress to even attempt to check the power of an increasingly unhinged president. History has given our senators the only power that can save us and it is of the utmost importance that they use it now.

Karen Ziegler


Shut down?

Our president claimed that “This would be a very good time to do a shut down” if he doesn’t get the $5 billion he wants for his wall. Here we are with at least 76 dead from the California fires, at least 1,300 unaccounted for, Puerto Rico still reeling from hurricane damage, as are parts of the Carolinas and Texas. How far would $5 billion go to help some of those people?

Rosemary Harrell


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