Norwalk parents, faculty concerned about possible art, music cuts

Doughty: 'We do know if we don't pass a levy, we're going to have to cut programs'; school board to meet in special session Monday night, with action possible.
Aaron Krause
Feb 24, 2013

 

Norwalk resident Dawn Freeman said her four children "really struggled with math" before getting involved with Norwalk City Schools' music program. Since then, "those grades significantly improved," she added.

Now, Freeman, faculty, students and parents are concerned that the Norwalk school board will cut the music and art programs to offset deficit spending.

In a letter to her contacts, Freeman, an art therapist, wrote that faculty members had announced at a band concert that "the Norwalk City Schools are planning to cut the music and art programs, especially at the younger levels. This would cause serious problems for our music and arts programs and would result in not only diminished music and arts programs but could also lower test scores, especially in the math and sciences field."

The school board recently voted to place a 6-mill, five-year emergency operating levy on the May ballot.

While Superintendent Dennis Doughty said the school board has not taken any action to cut programs, he conceded: "We do know if we don't pass a levy, we're going to have to cut programs."

A special session board meeting, which is open to the public, is planned for 7 p.m. Monday in the central board conference room, 134 Benedict Ave. According to an announcement of the meeting, board members may take action.

Look for the full story about this topic in Monday's Reflector.

 

Comments

fedup2

It is a scare tactic. They are not going to cut music and art programs. People will believe or buy into anything. Now when they are ready to discuss or eliminate the real problems then I will think about a Yes vote. Until then, my vote stands as a big NO! People, do your research..ChefMike put the link to salaries right in front of you. Click on it and decide for yourself!

Guy on a Buffalo

So you will be at the meeting tonight to give them your ideas? I hope you speak loud and clear so I can hear you!

Heitsche23

i don't think sports are "unnecessary." i was an active sport player in high school, and yes i understand that the turn out is more in the sports area than it is in art or music, but still. why be unfair to those students and favor the students who play sports? i hate to say it, but regardless of sports, or music, or art.. the chances of going pro or "making it big" around here are not very high. so, treat all the students FAIR. cut the music program? well then cut a sports program as well. not all students are athletic, and they shouldn't be punished for it. just because one family could careless about the band, doesn't mean the next family over could careless either. music and art is to them, as sports are to you.

AverageGuy

Heitsche23, I understand what you're saying. I really do.
But let's do this. What sports should be cut? Keep in mind that some sports feature student athletes who might not be suited to football or basketball, but still offer a student a chance to compete athletically, and be a part of a team.

norwalk_mom

Music and Art are not extra curricular activities. They are electives. Graduation requirements include having to have electives. There are other cuts that can be made at the school. Students have made proposals to the school board in ways to save money but are never taken seriously. One of the groups in one of the Environmental Science classes came up with a way the high school could save over $10,000 a year. (Imagine if that was also applied to all the school building not just the high school) Why is that not being taken into consideration? Imagine what other things students may have come up with to help which those ideas havent been used. FYI four of the students in the group out of five are in either music or art.

Heitsche23

well if we're going by "popularity" like it seems they are, i would say cut the sport that has the least amount of attention. (i don't follow norwalk sports, so i know nothing about them) but say maybe not that many people follow tennis? cut tennis. (not saying they should) i think they can make budget cuts elsewhere than taking these things away from the students. i would rather see no sports being cut, or no other extracurricular activities being cut. whether its band, drama club, yearbook club. anything. i'm sure the school can find other places to make the cuts. do they use laptops or anything in class? or are the provided by the school? if so, the school doesn't need to do that. how did kids get by in school before the internet? before laptops? we have public libraries they could go to as well. i don't want to say cut teachers, but say norwalk offers Chinese as a language (not sure if they do, and if they did i'm certain that 99% of the students don't plan to go to china, so they won't need it)maybe they have 3 teachers teaching Chinese. cut it to 2 instead. things like that. cut the things that are not necessities.

Heitsche23

actually, they are extracurricular activities.. they are not required to graduate from high school. i was never in either, and i still graduated just a couple years ago. regardless of what they are, i don't believe they should be cut.

DickChaney

Guy, Maybe you will hear them on election day.

canyoubelieveit

I'm reading a lot of complaints about the laptops on here and so I'm guessing you guys don't realize that the school didn't pay for them. They were all purchased through a special grant. The students have to pay $100 each year just to use them. Also, I not saying sports are bad and that if you play sports you stupid, but it's a proven fact that students involved in the the fine arts (band, choir, art, etc.) have better test scores than those who are not. Just as sports are a big part of some peoples lives so are the arts. I'm not saying I have a solution, but I am saying that we need to think about the children and whats best and fair for them. Did you play a sport in high school? Were you in a fine arts class that meant a lot to you? If so why shouldn't these kids get the same?

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