Albemarle Parents Try to Protect Arts from Sequestration
During budget season, school administrators face tough decisions. With sequestration looming, school funding might be even harder to come by, especially when it comes to things like art and band, which aren't covered on Standards of Learning (SOLs) tests.
Western Albemarle High School parents are taking the arts into their own hands. They've watched the programs grow over the past couple of years, and they want this to continue. WAHS's band has won several awards in the past three years.
Until four years ago, the school didn't have a full-time fine arts department. Now, drama students are rehearsing for a new tradition – their spring musical, "Little Shop of Horrors."
The school system covers capital improvements, like renovations to the auditorium, but the schools have to cover the costs of shows. That's why parents are stepping in.
"So we started with zero budget here. And when you're putting on a show, let's say for a musical, the rights alone are between $5,000 and $7,000," said Tim Driver, WAHS's assistant principal.
"The band needs uniforms, drama needs sets and funds and everything else, visual arts programs need everything visual arts these days, which is a lot of computerization as well. There's really no amount of money that would be too much to fund the arts," said Deborah Gordon, a member of the school's parents' committee.
On Saturday, parents are hosting Artfest in the West, a showcase of all the western Albemarle County schools' art programs. To find out how you can get tickets, click here.