A group of students, parents, and teachers gathered at the Greater Victoria school board office, protesting against the proposed budget cuts to music, counselling, and daytime custodian staff.
Cindy Romphf, president of the Greater Victoria Music Educators’ Association says it is important to fund these programs in schools.
“The reason why school districts keep attacking music, is because it’s not within the funding model of middle school and elementary,” Romphf said. “So it’s considered ‘extra’ funding on top of what the Ministry of Education gives, so in a deficit year, they’ll look to these extra programs that cost the money, even though this will affect 1000s of students.”
Last year, the school district had proposed cutting the music budget, but in the final budget music programs were partially funded.
Romphf says she is hopeful that the protests will see a similar result this year.
“We were pretty successful last year and I’m hoping we can have some success this year,” she said. “The community is amazing. We’ve had a lot of support, hundreds and hundreds of letters, they’ve been so amazing.”
Romphf says the music programs aren’t the only thing the group wants to see funded.
“This is a big rally against the cuts that the Greater Victoria School Board is proposing,” she said. “They’re proposing to cut middle school music elementary strings, our Island ukulele program, daytime custodians, counselling, summer clerical staff and much much more.”
Romphf says she hopes the Ministry of Education will provide more funding to school districts, so that this protest won’t have to happen again.