By: Krystle Crossman
Students in Atlanta elementary schools could possibly be losing some very important programs. The decision was made to cut 18 jobs throughout the Atlanta public school system. 8 of those jobs are the orchestra directors and 10 of the jobs are band teachers. Some of the teachers work for multiple schools which means a few schools may be losing these programs altogether. They have not yet decided which of the schools will be losing these positions.
Once the positions are eliminated from the schools they will then get to decide how to use the funds that they are saving by not having these teachers on staff anymore. James Malone, a spokesperson for Atlanta Public Schools, stated that some of the schools may opt to use the funds given to them to share music directors with nearby schools. Some of them might even use the funds to fund a music program with the remaining teachers. Out of the 52 elementary schools in the Atlanta Public School system there are 58 different band and orchestra teachers. After the cuts they will be down to 40 amongst all 52 schools.
While this may seem unfair to take the orchestra and band programs away from some schools they are actually very lucky in Atlanta. They are the only public school district left in the state to even offer these programs in elementary school in the first place. The schools will still have general music classes that they can take. The APS stated that they were simply removing jobs to remain in line with the district’s standard for quality. They will still be able to take classes such as music appreciation and instrument instruction and there will also still be choirs in all of the elementary schools. A representative from APS will be joining the Georgia Department of Education as a fine arts head for the next school year.
Music education is very important for children, especially at a young age. It helps them with their reading and verbal skills as well as focus and attention to detail. Music is often used to help students remember important information by putting it into song, such as the song that lists all of the states in alphabetical order.