Monday night's board of education meeting was packed with teachers and parents who oppose a plan to reduce some fine arts and physical education staff while increasing the workload of others.
A total of 40 people had signed up to speak Monday evening, board president Katie Bailey announced at the beginning of the meeting.
Teachers wearing "I Educate" shirts crowded the floor of the administration building before the meeting began, chanting, "We want respect."
As part of its plan to balance the 2012-13 budget, the district has proposed to reduce its fine arts and physical education staff by six positions. Four of those cuts would be made through staff retiring or leaving the district, while art teachers at Dawes and Bessie Rhodes elementary schools have been notified that their jobs are on the line.
The district is already sharing some art and music teachers among schools, but proposed cuts would mean that every art teacher travels to a different school at least once a week. Each art teacher would have seven 40-minute classes per day, instead of six, meaning students would have the same amount of time with teachers, but teachers would have shorter planning periods. While six schools already have shared arts teachers, , Oakton, and have had full-time art and music staff up to this point.
Physical education teacher Peggy Silkaitis was among the early speakers.
"I think it is unreasonable and this increase in classes will negatively impact the quality of our curriculum," she said.
The board of education is expected to discuss the plan following public comment.
For more coverage on the meeting, , which includes a statement from the board of education and several comments by parents and teachers.
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