Price range blowback: Austin ISD advantageous arts director place lower as a consequence of monetary shortfalls

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A beloved advantageous arts director at an Austin Impartial Faculty District academy has been lower, leaving dad and mom fearful about the way forward for extra music, choir and theater programming.

Nicole Griffith, principal of the McCallum High-quality Arts Academy, revealed to oldsters that the district is not funding the director place, beforehand held by Heather Ramsay, for the upcoming faculty 12 months, citing a finances scarcity.

“We’re indebted to Heather Ramsay and the arduous work and dedication she has given to the McCallum High-quality Arts Academy. She has poured her coronary heart and soul into this work and it has meant a fantastic deal to all of us,” Griffith wrote. “Her dedication to the academy and to the High-quality Arts college students will likely be missed.”

Mother and father now marvel: if the director place at a magnet faculty can’t be funded anymore, how will different advantageous arts applications survive?

“We stay in a city that’s imagined to centered on artwork, theater and particularly music. So I don’t get why it might be a good suggestion to chop a faculty that’s citing the following era of expertise in a city that’s so centered on it. It doesn’t make any sense to me,” mentioned Jene Maroney, whose son is a sophomore at McCallum.

Throughout an Austin ISD Board of Trustees assembly on March 11, Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde launched a brand new staffing components the district will likely be utilizing, which can result in complete overhauls of campuses. Faculties might even see some worker positions moved to different campuses or eradicated altogether.

KXAN reached out the AISD officers to see if that’s what occurred at McCallum, however they didn’t reply to our request.

Principal Griffith, nonetheless, desires to guarantee households this won’t compromise the varsity’s programming. As a substitute, she known as this a “restructuring.”

Though the management will change, she mentioned the varsity’s custom of advantageous arts won’t. Actually, she is providing upcoming city halls the place dad and mom will get the chance to weigh in on what adjustments they wish to see.

“Our assets, choices, and alternatives will proceed to thrive. I’m dedicated to a clean transition as we shift into a brand new management mannequin for the academy,” Griffith wrote.

Some dad and mom mentioned they need the McCallum neighborhood to return collectively and demand there may be stable path, related in the way in which Ramsay steered the academy.

“I’m hoping that the neighborhood can come collectively and push for what we wish and what’s good for them,” Maroney mentioned.

High-quality Arts Legislative Invoice

A invoice at present being thought-about within the Texas Home might take away much more advantageous arts alternatives for college students.

Home Invoice 434 would give highschool college students the choice to commerce out their one advantageous arts credit score for a credit score in profession and technical schooling.

Supporters mentioned this enables college students to take courses they’re obsessed with. However advantageous arts advocates mentioned this might drive college students away. The invoice is pending within the Public Schooling Committee.

Attain KXAN’s Schooling Reporter Alex Caprariello by e mail at or by telephone at 512-703-5365, or discover him on Twitter and Fb.

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