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Lesson Plans


Re: Art Budget and More

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Ken Rohrer (kenroar)
Sun, 12 Jan 1997 15:50:11 -0600


Gina said....

One year my students luckily won several hundred dollars in award money
that went to the art dept. Just after that I was told my next years
budget would be cut by that amount since "this year is a terrible budget
crunch."

I have since heard from other teachers that their art budgets were cut
too when they started winning some major award money in state contests.

Iwas very resentful, feeling as though the prize money should
go for something special( I spend it on art history prints to put on
classroom walls and have referred to them for years now.) If I am ever a
part of any group giving out award money I believe I would put a
stipulation on it that the school's money will not be given should the
budget be cut the following year. (I doubt it could be enforced but at
least it would be a detriment to administrators looking to save money
who perhaps justify the cut to art dept. since other money became available.)

Unfortunately the second true fact from my story is that, surprize, my
budget was never restored. It did not end up
being a one year cut at all. (There has been no increase in years.)
The principal resigned unexpectedly and the new principal said everyones
budgets were frozen. She has since raised budgets for those she programs
she prefers.

Since the above occured I have often wished I could replay those events.
I should have fought the point more, never agreed to the
temporary cut, or have insisted on a promise in writing of the
restoration, although that would have been very bold of me as a mere
teacher.
======================================================

Sounds like you discovered the age-old excuse, "Its just a temorary cut,
we'll restore it later." Unfortunately, it is very difficult to restore
budgets once they are cut. I believe you were right in feeling that you
should have fought the point more in the beginning. A few phone calls from
parents have a very strong effect on an administrator.

Your example of budget cuts due to grants and prize money illustrates the
difference between an good administrator and a bad one. A good
administrator would recognize that the program must be very good to get
these grants and prizes. Reducing your budget was not in the best interests
of the students involved. It doesn't fit in with the "What's best for the
students" philosophy I spoke of earlier.

Begin at once working on your new principal. Make your art department
scream out at him or her. Send press releases when inviting special
artists, student and department awards, and art exhibits. Copy and put in
their mailbox research done on the benefit of the arts on test scores- now
that is sure to hit home. A few months ago, it was posted on this group the
desperate need for digital artists in California. These jobs pay as much as
$100,000 annual salary.

Good luck!

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