Eastport-South Manor Central School District proposes cuts to arts programs

Posted: Updated:

A recent budget proposal by the Eastport-South Manor Central School District Board of Education includes cuts to the district’s arts programs.

The proposed cuts are expected to affect the school’s music and theater teachers, the fall play and spring musical.

Parents say they estimate 1,000 students would be affected by the cuts.

“It’s devastating because we’ve seen each other’s faces for six years,” says freshman Katherine Kimes. “And just thinking about not being able to see them anymore is just horrible.”

Parents tells News 12 they plan to head to Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting to express their concerns.

District officials say they are grappling with very difficult budget issues, confirming a deficit of over $4 million. The state comptroller's office says that they are the most financially stressed district on the Island.

News 12 received word Tuesday that the district rescinded its proposal to eliminate both orchestra teachers, thereby keeping the orchestra program intact.

The district says the plan to tackle the crisis may include piercing the tax cap in 2019, a controversial move amongst homeowners in the area.

Homeowner Debbie Sigismondi says that while she doesn't want to see a loss of programs, she also can't handle another blow to her wallet.

The Eastport-South Manor Central School District superintendent has since released a statement that reads, "We value all program opportunities for students, including the arts. We recognize the importance of providing multiple pathways for different students to explore their diverse interests, share their talents, and have a successful school experience."  

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