If a picture is worth a thousand words, then students and community leaders gave the School Reform Commission a thesis yesterday on why it should avoid cuts to art and music.
With the School District of Philadelphia facing massive budget cuts to close an estimated $630 million shortfall, many expect arts and music to be among the first items on the chopping block, along with layoffs of central office staff and a reduction in teachers. Some fear that art and music could be eliminated from all but the elite schools.
“Everybody agrees with the tenets that all children deserve an education which has arts and music,” said Denise Kinney, executive director of Musicopia, a nonprofit organization that provides music instruction in schools throughout the region. “Music matters. It’s not ancillary, it’s not peripheral. It’s not fluff.”
Kinney followed Miss Philadelphia Maria Sciorillo, who spoke in favor of preserving art while six students held up their own artwork.
The district expects to pass its budget later this month.