UD Music Parents Advocate to Save Music, Arts
Reductions in the music and arts programs are proposed for the 2013-14 school year.
Deb Carver, the Public Relations Secretary for the March Band Parents Association, say that the parents who gathered on Monday were there to "advocate for something that is near and dear to our hearts."
Chris Dowdell, President of the Parent's Association, said, "The budget process is already underway, time is not on our side."
He continued, "The stakes of tonight's meeting are high."
The proposed budget, according to Superintendent of Schools Michael Pladus, as a $2.7 million dollar deficit and the school board can raise taxes to a maximum of 3.04 percent.
"[We] cannot continue the spending trajectory that we're on without [major cuts]," said Pladus.
Pladus continued that the past few years, cuts have been made across the district that have been considered those that least impacted the students. He said there has been downsizing in administration staffing, the district has reduced overtime payment, the late buses, eliminated a social worker, a kindergarten assistant, a District receptionist and one Robbins Park assistant.
However, this years cuts will affect the students, although Pladus said the administration tried to cut from programs that have the least impact on students and made cuts with "fairness and equity to the extent possible."
The proposed budget eliminates a math coach and increases class sizes at the elementary level. During the question and answer session, Pladus told parents that reductions will also be made in elementary music, arts, physical education and library.
At the middle school, the budget eliminates two writing lab assistants, teacher reductions to .8 in music and arts and "other special areas," according to previous reporting in Patch.
At the high school, the budget, calls for the elimination of driver's ed, reductions in teaching assignments in art, music, business technology and family and consumer sciences and the increase in class sizes.
Pladus added that an activities fee is being considered and will most likely be implemented for the 213-14 school year.