School district official questions need for new Latin textbooks

Sept. 5, 2013 at 4:46 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- A Virginia school board chairman is questioning the need to purchase new Latin textbooks every few years even though the so-called dead language never changes.

Virginia Beach School Board Chairman Dan Edwards said Wednesday night he will vote in favor of spending $128,381 to purchase new "Ecce Romani" textbooks for the district, but he questioned whether it is necessary to purchase new books about the dead language every seven years to keep up with revised state standards, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Thursday.

Edwards said the language is dead and does not evolve in the same way as subjects such as computer science.

Georgia Irby, associate classical studies professor at the College of William & Mary, said updated textbooks reflect an evolving understanding of Latin from archeological advances.

Administrators noted the new Latin texts come with interactive online materials that were not included in previous editions.

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