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Teachers: LA schools' arts education budget 'a step in the wrong direction'

by Mary Plummer | Take Two

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Most of the instruments the elementary school students bring to their once-a-week class are provided by LAUSD. Ken Scarboro/KPCC

A plan by the Los Angeles Unified School District to cut the time elementary school children are taught orchestra in half is angering teachers, many of whom learned about it only after KPCC reported on the arts budget, which was released unexpectedly at a committee meeting last week.

"I think this is just such a travesty," said Kristin Vanderlip Taylor, a traveling visual arts teacher for elementary students at two schools in the district - Sylmar Leadership Academy and Roscoe Elementary. "I mean, honestly, it's not in the best interest of the students."

Traditionally, schools that get a musical instrument teacher get him or her for the full school year. Now district 0fficials want to cut that to one semester to reach more students. Each of the district's 32 traveling orchestra teachers would serve 10 elementary schools a year starting in the Fall, according to a district report. 

KPCC's Mary Plummer has the story

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