At Charleston County public schools, arts cuts follow budget shortfall

Posted on: August 2, 2016

“The Charleston County School District has removed its fine arts coordinator and redefined the job description to include oversight of world languages curriculum,” writes Adam Parker in Sunday’s (7/31) Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.). “The changes come in the wake of a budget shortfall of $18 million.… Of the three local school districts, Charleston County is the only one without a dedicated fine arts coordinator…. One hard-hit school is Sanders-Clyde Elementary and Middle School [which] lost its arts magnet status because of low enrollment… As a result, funding and staffing were reduced…. Sanders-Clyde reopened with some fanfare in a new $25.7 million building, with specialized curriculum, in February 2010…. The school has benefited from key collaborations [including] the Backpack Journalist program, Redux Contemporary Arts Center, Engaging Creative Minds, Charleston Promise Neighborhood and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra—and enrollment increased from 500 in 2012 to 600 in 2014. But this year enrollment was down 20 percent, to about 460…. ‘We want more arts programming in schools,’ said Janice Crews, education director for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. ‘The CSO’s work is supplemental; we can only do so much to bring the arts to these kids. Without regular access, kids will suffer.’ ”

Posted August 2, 2016