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A FLAP Develops Over Mandatory Arabic Classes in Texas

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By Doug Powers  •  February 8, 2011 02:24 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

If one of the main goals of the Department of Education is to educate parents on why they might want to consider the option of private or home schooling, then mission accomplished:

MANSFIELD (CBSDFW.COM) – Some Students at Mansfield ISD schools could soon be learning Arabic as a required language. The school district wants students at select schools to take Arabic language and culture classes as part of a federally funded grant.

The Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant was awarded to Mansfield ISD last summer by the U.S. Department of Education.

As part of the five-year $1.3 million grant, Arabic classes would be mandatory at Cross Timbers Intermediate School and Kenneth Davis Elementary School. The program would also be optional for students at T. A. Howard Middle School and Summit High School.

Parents at Cross Timbers say they were caught off-guard by the program, and were surprised the district only told them about it in a meeting Monday night between parents and Mansfield ISD Superintendent Bob Morrison.

The DOE has identified Arabic as a ‘language of the future.’ But parent Joseph Balson was frustrated by the past. “Why are we just now finding out about it?” asked Balson. “It’s them (Mansfield ISD) applying for the grant, getting it approved and them now saying they’ll go back and change it only when they were caught trying to implement this plan without parents knowing about it.”

According to a posting at the school’s website, this is a vital component in being able to compete in the 21st century.

Presumably the students have already mastered English and, of course, Spanish, so they can move on to Arabic:

In 2009 a FLAP grant went to a school in Oklahoma, which used the money for Chinese language education. Now that makes more sense because someday the kids will need to communicate with the people who are repossessing the country because it was borrowed-and-spent into oblivion with things like FLAP grants.

**Written by Doug Powers

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