According to the NY Daily News, 135 New York City arts teachers have recently lost their jobs. This statistic, pulled from the Education Department, pales in comparison to the projected 356 who will likely be jobless after next year’s scheduled layoffs.
Last year, public schools employed 2,462 arts teachers, down from 2,597 the year before. This drop erased the slow gains arts education had made over several years.
Now an additional 356 arts teachers risk pink slips as part of the proposed layoff of 4,600 teachers citywide – a cut that would bring the number of certified arts teachers down by close to 20% over three years.
“This would be disastrous for school arts programming and for our city’s schoolchildren and would practically wipe away all the gains made over the last decade,” said Doug Israel of the Center for Arts Education.
Overall, school arts budgets declined by more than 4% last year, and arts supplies budgets crashed by 34%. Still, more than half of elementary schools offered all four arts – dance, visual arts, music and theater – an increase from 41% in 2009.
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