John Bruton, European Union ambassador to the United States, met with about 30 Atlanta-area middle and high school teachers March 16 at the Southern Center for International Studies in Buckhead.

A former prime minister of the Republic of Ireland, Mr. Bruton has served as the E.U.’s ambassador to the U.S. since 2004. He was here to meet with local business and political officials but made time to speak with area school teachers about Europe, its relationship with the U.S., its influence throughout the world and its direction for the future.

During a question and answer period, Mr. Bruton received accolades from the audience when he said that he thought funding public schools with property-based taxes was a bad idea. He said that he thought monies from the federal government would provide a more reliable and evenly distributed source of funding for the nation’s public schools much like they do in Europe.

All middle and high school social study teachers in metro Atlanta’s 27-county region were invited to attend the ambassador’s speech. The some 30 teachers who attended also participated in a day-long informational workshop on Europe that was organized by the Southern Center and funded by the Halle Foundation and European Commission.

For more information on the event, contact Diane Sloan, director of educational services at the Southern Center at (404) 261-5763.