COLUMBUS (TDB) -- With so much economic activity and trade -- and jobs flowing out of the Great Lakes states -- federal officials have decided to finance Chinese language programs in the schools of four states, including Ohio, where money is headed for classrooms in Shaker Heights, Cincinnati, Tipp City, Chagrin Falls, Belpre and Beaver Creek. About 2,000 children are supposed to start learning Mandarin Chinese in the 2008-09 school year.
Ohio education officials say that they want to start, expand and improve Chinese language programs with kindergartners in an attempt to buffer the state from the impact of globalization. ''In this 21st century global economy, Ohio students must learn other languages and appreciate other cultures in the classroom today, so they can succeed in the workplace of tomorrow,'' State School Supt. Susan Tave Zelman said. ''Through the creation of a state network of Chinese language educators and programs, we plan to build a curriculum from kindergarten through college for Ohio.
The feds plan to spend $470,000 and the state $535,554 during the early years of the project. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit with China was over $20 billion last month, and some conomists worry that America is so deep in hock to China it may never get out.