Arts leaders call for fight against possible education cuts - | WBTV Charlotte

Arts leaders call for fight against possible education cuts

Bellamy said losing the teachers would be "devastating." (Source: WECT) Bellamy said losing the teachers would be "devastating." (Source: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

Arts leaders and educators are asking parents to take a stand against possible cuts to art, music and physical education programs for young students.

In a blog post, New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley wrote House Bill 13 is meant to “fix concerns with the current class size restrictions.”

The state House of Representatives passed the bill, but it is now stuck in a senate committee.

Markley wrote failure to pass the bill could mean teacher cuts in art, music and P.E.:

"We are looking at several different budget scenarios that will have to be considered if the Senate does not approve HB 13; all of the options would require the district to reduce the number of art, music and PE teachers. This most likely would be done through our Reduction in Force (RIF) policy. This RIF would impact 25 or more current teachers."

Rhonda Bellamy, Executive Director of the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County, is worried the bill will stay in the committee.

“It is of tremendous concern to us when we have our (kindergarten through third grade) population not getting the arts experiences in these very formative years,” Bellamy said.

Bellamy said it would be “devastating” to lose those teachers.

“It definitely will have an impact,” Bellamy said. “Art is not something pretty to look at. It’s not just a play. It is the whole process of art-making that requires a different set of thinking skills. I think that when you remove that during the formative years that you are removing an opportunity for students to think in different ways.”

Bellamy said she and arts educators plan to issue a call to action for parents to call legislators and ask to move the bill out of the senate committee and on to the floor for a vote.

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