Threatening Budget Cuts

Students+work+in+art+class.+--+Photo+taken+by+Pat+Aiamsubahb

Students work in art class. -- Photo taken by Pat Aiamsubahb

Students work in art class. -- Pat Aiamsubhab

New budget cuts aimed at reducing unnecessary spending in MCPS schools is causing many Fine Art classes being compressed into fewer class periods or even getting rid of them completely, evoking some fear into Fine Art teachers.

RHS’s Fine Art department has been impacted from previous budget cuts, but this year’s could be the most significant in funding loss. RHS Fine Arts teacher Joanna Yoder instructs many various art classes including: Photography (Digital, Film, and AP) and Foundations of Art; all of which have had their funding from MCPS cut. “[The loss in funding] is definitely a worry that is on my mind,” said Yoder.

Some of the other Fine Art classes at RHS that a student can enroll in include: Ceramics, Advanced Ceramics, Studio Art and AP Studio Art. All of aforementioned classes have been affected by previous budget cuts and will most likely see some change in funding from this year’s budget plan. Most art classes have had their class sizes increased to compensate with the lack of funding.

In particular, Foundations of Art has had the most dramatic changes due to decreasing funds. “[RHS] use to have five full Foundations of Art classes and now we only have one class,” Yoder said. Yoder believes student enrollment can grow the program back to its original five classes. Foundations of Art have started asking enrolled students to pay a 10 dollar fee to pay for resources used in the class.

With low funding, compressed class periods and enlarged class sizes, a lot of students are discouraged to join art classes. Unfortunately, student enrollments in Fine Art classes are not high enough to expand the classes into separate periods or increase funding. This leaves some Fine Art teachers in fear of losing their full-time jobs at RHS.

Not only are the teachers of the Fine Art classes in fear of losing their jobs, but the students enrolled in the classes are in fear of having the classes they enjoy being taken away from them. “[Art classes] give me the opportunity to express myself,” said sophomore Derek Russell.

The new budget for MCPS schools is not finalized yet, but it is likely that funding for Fine Art classes will be decreased as they have been each year. RHS teachers in the Fine Arts department strongly encourage students to enroll in the various art classes that are offered. Students might find that they could have enjoyed classes that might be taken away from them due to lack of enrollment.

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