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LAUSD Cuts Start With the Arts

California school kids are going to see cuts in their arts programs
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Kids in a California school perform Peter Pan | Photo by brokenchopstick via Flickr

The Los Angeles Unified School District has initiated a spending freeze, thanks in part to the possibility of having to cut $400 million in spending mid-year, after already being crippled by $400 million in budget cuts this year. Their first major move has been to put one of their biggest arts programs in a holding pattern. The LA Times reports:

In a Dec. 12 e-mail, district administrators told arts instructors with the Arts Community Partnership Network to cancel all work immediately and that payments might be delayed, though work could begin again next month if the state resolves its budget crisis.

The move is indicative of troubles state-wide in school districts thanks to the cuts proposed in the California budget, which remains unresolved. Arts programs tend to be the first affected, which worries top education officials such as state Superintendent Jack O'Connell, who believes arts and after school programs help keep kids motivated and involved in education. The Times details some specific programs that are in jeopardy because they are already operating on limited resources, and have nowhere else to turn for funding, particularly when charitable foundations are offering less assistance due to their own financial woes.