Burlington elementary students were picking up a bit of Italian in 30 minute sessions in between their other studies. Due to budget cuts, that program will come to an end. While students, staff, and school officials are sad to see the program go, there was no other choice. In order to keep the Italian program in place, other teaching positions would have had to be eliminated, and that was not feasible.
Ending the program, and cutting the three and a half employees associated in maintaining it, will save the Burlington school district about $154,000 according to Superintendent Eric Conti. Conti also stated he hated to see the program cut. At a board meeting, Daniel DiTucci urged Conti to keep the program. Other committee members were also reluctant to see the program come to an end.
C.A.S.IT. (Centro Attivita Scholastiche Italiene), a non-profit organization formed by the Italian Consul General, is a sponsor of the promotion of Italian culture and language in New England private and public schools. Only a handful of towns were fortunate enough to have an Italian language and culture program. These included Burlington, Medford, and Stoneham. In Burlington, C.A.S.IT. funded approximately one half of the cost of providing weekly Italian instruction to elementary students; even so, it is ciao and goodbye to the Italian language program in Burlington.