Worries from teachers, parents, and students about school budget cuts

By  | 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - With time running out to come up with a budget, the Fayette County Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting for next Wednesday. Earlier this week board members couldn't agree on Superintendent Tom Shelton's budget which included cuts to fix a $20 million deficit. Some parents and students told us they're worried about the proposed cuts.

A couple thousand students are involved in it in the whole district. Band is something to celebrate among Fayette County Public Schools.

"It's pretty much been my whole high school career outside of academics," said Rebecca Palmer, a senior band student at Henry Clay High School.

Threats of any, big or small, cuts to band and orchestra programs have people at every level upset and worried.

"If 25 kids at one elementary don't get band, then that's 25 kids that don't go onto middle school and play band because that's really where it starts," said Amanda Ferguson, a school board member.

"I think the major worry is the impact that it has on some of the full-time employees," said Bill Kite, the band director at Henry Clay High School. "I know five or six have been reduced from full-time to part-time."

School officials tell us the cuts between band and orchestra district wide equal 3.3 positions. That adds up to $198,000 of the $426 million budget.

But that doesn't mean three people. 3.3 is the total when you add up cuts from instructional days and travel time. To put it in perspective, one instructional day equals .2 and travel time being .1. Those are what are being cut from a few teachers.

Parents, teachers, and board members have expressed that they don't want cuts to affect students. And this way school officials say they won't.

"It's hard to see, and I know that cuts have to be made," said Palmer. "But I hope that they keep band kids in mind and all the arts for that matter."

Right now isn't the concern for some. It's the future of music education in Fayette County.

"I think that's my concern is that what happens from here and where we go," said Kite.

That next meeting is only two days before the May 30th deadline to adopt a new budget plan. The board's chair, who has been battling cancer and did not attend Monday's meeting, will participate this time via Skype.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus