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Tue Jul 5, 2022, 10:57 PM

As NYC Slashes School Budgets, Art Teachers Are Feeling the Squeeze

On June 13, Paul Trust was called into the principal’s office at the PS 39 elementary school in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where he had taught music for over a decade.

In the meeting, the school’s administration told Trust that his job was in jeopardy and letting him go was the “worst-case scenario.” But after the principal met with the Borough Central Office to discuss her 2023 budget, that scenario became the reality: Trust would be “excessed,” or laid off from his position. And the school told its only other music teacher Nick Deutsch, who had been there for six years, the same thing, effectively eliminating its music department.

PS 39 was forced to decrease spending by 14%, one of approximately 1,200 district schools in New York — 77% of the city’s total — that were told to cut their budget by a specific dollar amount after Mayor Eric Adams slashed school funding by over $200 million. The cuts are tied to enrollment declines, which the majority of NYC schools experienced over the course of the pandemic. Budget decisions are at the discretion of the schools’ principals, and arts departments, already under-funded despite representing a “core academic subject,” are not protected.

“Any time there are funding cuts, the arts are usually the first to get trimmed,” Mario Asaro, head of the NYC Art Teachers Association, told Hyperallergic. “I can’t see how that won’t affect music and art and other special subjects.”


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Reply As NYC Slashes School Budgets, Art Teachers Are Feeling the Squeeze (Original post)
AZProgressive Jul 5 OP
jimfields33 Jul 5 #1
Ferrets are Cool Jul 5 #2
Karma13612 Jul 5 #3

Response to AZProgressive (Original post)

Tue Jul 5, 2022, 11:02 PM

1. Not much can be done when the school population dropped big time.

They may need to change the funding rule that state a certain amount to the school per student. Until enrollment rises, budgets will be slashed.

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Response to AZProgressive (Original post)

Tue Jul 5, 2022, 11:50 PM

3. So sad,

Maybe there could be some collaborations between the schools and local art councils. Communities could come together and have classes using the art teachers who’s hours have been cut or their jobs eliminated.

Back in early June, I cleared out my studio a bit and took a bunch of art supplies to our local school and gave to the art teacher. She was so grateful, and it was great knowing that the supplies would be used by budding artists.

We need to do whatever it takes to make sure young people are given a chance to try different styles of art and explore their potential.

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