To address a budget shortfall for the 2016-2017 school year, the Vancouver School Board is proposing numerous cuts which include the elimination of the elementary band and strings program and the district’s Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator position.
According to the Coalition of Music Education in British Columbia, the proposed cuts would prevent the valuable opportunity for thousands of Vancouver schoolchildren to learn to play a band or string instrument. The educational benefits gained from participation in music education programs, taught by a qualified specialist teacher, are not replaceable with other means of instruction.
The Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator is the district’s lead liaison with the arts community and is responsible for many educational partnerships, district collaborations, and professional development. Eliminating this position would have a severe impact on students.
The proposal also recommends cutting the 12 positions that provide intensive, small group literacy interventions to vulnerable students across the district's inner city schools. Overall, the budget would see more than 200 jobs lost.
Make Your Voice Heard
The budget goes to a vote on April 28 and parents, students, community members, and concerned citizens are urged to make their voices heard in support of the elementary band and strings program and the Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator role. Here's what you can do:
- Share the news with others and watch for further updates;
- Write to Mike Lombardi, Chair of the Vancouver Board of Education Trustees, at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Attend or register to speak at an upcoming Public Consultation Budget Meeting on Tuesday, April 12 by emailing email@example.com. An additional session on April 14 may be held if required.