BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Parents and teachers within the Buffalo Public School district say music programs are not getting the support they need, and now two high school music teachers could be getting a pay cut.
Around five teachers and five parents are suing the school district for not putting an emphasis on music and art. They argue that music programs are required for students but that almost all the schools in the district don’t meet that requirement.
“What we have here is somethings that’s very despicable,” Buffalo Teachers Federation president Phil Rumore said.
Rumore says it’s unacceptable that two full-time music teachers at hutch tech high school are being told they might be switched to part time next year.
“When people cut the arts and music what they’re doing is subliminally sending a message to our kids, you’re not going to be able to aspire to be a musician, an artist, caring about the arts,” he said.
The high school stopped teaching concert band before school hours, and the change forces students to practice and study music on their own time making it more difficult for them to receive course credit.
“Teachers and parents who are fighting to restore the arts in Hutch Teach as well as the school district, to what they should be are being retaliated agaisnt and having their positions cut from full-time to part time to the detriment of the students that is pathetic,” Rumore said.
Buffalo Public School officials say School Based Management Teams (SBMTS) are working on 2020-2021 budgets now. It’s all fluid at this point, so there is no definitive answer at this time.
Teachers and parents throughout the school district are expected to present their case in court on March 4th.