Wednesday, August 10, 2016

CCSD: Where Should It Cut If Not Arts?

If you have a personal budget shortfall, you cut back on nonessentials. Maybe you use your library more frequently instead of ordering books from Amazon. Perhaps you put off buying a new TV or eating in restaurants every week. What you don't cut back on is paying the rent or replacing a refrigerator.

If your shortfall is $18 million as it is in the Charleston County School District, any cut to any program or school is guaranteed to bring out those who care. Cutting the arts is a perfect example. 

Back in the bad old days, St. Andrews Parish High School offered only two years of foreign language study (Spanish, French, Latin) and not a single art class. Those students like me who loved languages and loved art were not happy, but we survived. At least we had the required basics for college admission, and STA also had a "commercial" track for those who weren't headed there.

Of course it matters that low income students lack arts opportunities; however, if low enrollment at Sanders-Clyde doesn't justify the arts magnet status, then why in this budget crisis should it continue?

Those wailing over arts cuts must tell us what unnecessary programs the district should cut instead. Otherwise, complaints will not effect any change.

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