Join Club

Peter’s Take: Time to Finish the Job

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Peter RousselotIt’s time to finish the job of providing Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) programs at all Arlington public elementary schools.

As the Sun Gazette reported last week, parents at the elementary schools that currently lack FLES demanded again at the Sept. 12 School Board meeting that the School Board follow through on its repeated prior commitments to provide FLES. The School Board Chair re-affirmed that doing so is an APS priority. Parents who support finishing the job now are asking supporters to sign a petition.

This is a matter of simple fairness. Why is it taking so long?

The case for FLES in our globally competitive 21st century was made and adopted by APS years ago. It’s an excellent case, supported by many peer-reviewed studies that go back decades. The problem certainly is NOT that FLES lacks sufficient merit or that APS has not thoroughly studied FLES.

As I wrote in an earlier column, the major part of the problem lies with the County Board’s unnecessary spending on projects like the Aquatics CenterArtisphere, the Clarendon Dog Park, and the Columbia Pike streetcar. In the new normal for Arlington’s budget environment, the County Board’s improvident spending on such projects has made it harder for the School Board to complete its justified commitment to FLES.

Another reason the School Board may have been having trouble finishing the FLES job is that many Arlington teachers believe they should receive pay raises to make up for raises they didn’t get during the Great Recession, and that such raises should have a higher priority than completing the implementation of FLES. That’s a false choice.

Both these teachers and the parents who want the School Board to finish FLES are being constrained by the County Board’s misguided spending. It’s time for the teachers and the parents to join forces and tell the County Board to change its budget priorities.

Both Arlington’s residential and commercial real estate taxpayers are the common source of funding for all of these competing demands. Our public money is both fungible and finite across the entire spectrum of school and county spending.

Providing all of Arlington’s elementary school children with better opportunities to learn one language in addition to English deserves a higher priority than it has been getting.

Let’s finish implementing FLES now.

Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

Recent Stories

The owner of the bakery Cake Baby is celebrating one year of opening at the Pentagon City mall — and being out of her parents’ house. In December 2021, a…

A coalition of parents will be marching on Friday at Wakefield High School to encourage students not to use drugs and to demand a countywide response to in-school opioid use….

The freshest cold-pressed juice, cashew milks and cleanses delivered straight to your home or office from Greenheart Juice Shop! Greenheart delivers to over 100 zip codes in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland. Check your delivery day here and…

Renovations to a pair of office buildings in Crystal City, including the construction of a new pedestrian plaza, are set to wrap up this spring. Work kicked off last year…

Need help dealing with anxiety, depression or stress?

If you’re struggling to cope with anxiety, depression or stress, our virtual psychotherapy services can help. We offer a confidential and convenient service that’s tailored to your needs.

In our practice, cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is an important tool we use to provide effective relief for those facing anxiety and depression. We believe that cognitive change can be used to improve behaviors and emotions, thus allowing you to achieve mental wellness. By understanding the cognitive distortions that lead to negative thought patterns, we are able to create interventions tailored to each of our clients. This empowering approach can help you gain control of how your own thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors impact your experience. With CBT, our service provides an effective treatment that can bring long-term change and mental stability.

Book a free consultation today and see how we can help you live a happier and healthier life.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.

Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.

We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.

For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at or call (703) 527-0608.

Submit your own Announcement here.

Almost, Maine

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join us for a series of vignettes that revolve around the theme of love. Taking place in an almost-town called Almost, Maine, we will show you different, but important, facet of love in each

First-time Moms Meet & Greet

The truth, your first pregnancy and new mom months are full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of questions! None of us really know the best way to do it – we just figure it out, together…


Subscribe to our mailing list