FWCS to Cut 10 Elementary Art, Music, and PE Positions

By Megan Trent

April 19, 2012 Updated Apr 19, 2012 at 10:05 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - All 102 elementary art, music, and physical education teachers will have to reapply for their jobs next year.

Last month the teachers were notified that their jobs were being surplussed. FWCS Spokesperson Krista Stockman says the district plans to reduce its staff by ten full time positions, but that's doesn't necessarily mean the loss of ten employees.

A surplus could result in a number of different outcomes for staff. After reapplying, a teacher could keep his or her position, be moved to another school, or split time between several schools. An employee could also be laid off or have his or her hours cut to part time.

Stockman says students will still have the same required minimums for art, music and physical education - 45 minutes once a week or 25 minutes twice a week.

"We're committed to having these extra programs," she says. "We've always had them. We'll continue to offer them. We have our Arts Magnet. I really don't think people can question our commitment to the arts and making sure that our students are physically active in P.E."

However, if schools independently offered more than the minimum, says Stockman, they may be required to cut back on art, music, or physical education.

Stockman says while the move will save the district money, it's also part of their continued effort to allocate resources based on the number of students at each elementary school.

"We're making sure we have the correct number of teachers at each building as our enrollments have changed over the years and making sure that we have the right people in the right jobs," explains Stockman.

Executive Director of FAME (Foundation for Art and Music Education) T Irmscher says cutting staff for these subjects can hinder a child's ability to get a well rounded education.

"The arts, for some, may help them excel in other subjects. Music is a way of expressing yourself. It's also been said that music and artwork help with teamwork as they age."

Irmscher also says physical education at school shouldn't be limited when childhood obesity is such a big national concern. She points out that exercise at school is often the only intense physical activity children get all week.

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