Budget Cuts and Music Instruction

Current Situation: The music department overall program and classes available to students, including performance groups, are reduced for the current school year.

Due to FY11 Budget Cuts, the following are NO LONGER OFFERED:

  • Stage Band at the Middle School  (restored with Jazz band in FY13 through Friends of Watertown Music initial funding and now incorporated into budget)
  • 7th grade general music
  • Full Orchestra at the Middle School
  • Guitar Workshop at the High School (restored in FY13 through creativity and willingness teachers to travel among all 5 schools)
  • Electronic Music at the High School
  • Composition at the High School
  • Full instrument selection at each elementary school (only certain instruments are offered in 4th grade due to lack of teacher staffing; 5th grade students cannot begin an instrument)

Status of Teaching Positions:
FY15:  5.4 teaching positions
FY 14:  5.0 teaching positions
FY 13:  5.6 teaching positions
November 2011: 5.0 positions (upon retirement of Middle School band and music teacher)
FY11: 6.0 teaching positions
FY10: 7.0 teaching positions + 0.5 curriculum coordinator

Although the School Department has shown its commitment to the music program by restoring the Elementary School instruments program to its FY12 budget and adding a 0.6 teaching position in (with partial funding from Friends of Watertown Music) for FY 13, there is not enough money in the budget to maintain full staffing and programming.  Indeed, in FY 14, the 0.6 position was lost.  A 0.4 position has been added to the FY15 program (with partial funding from Friends of Watertown Music).

The music teachers are doing their best to travel among the schools, but they cannot maintain the program as we have enjoyed it without bringing back the missing 15% of their teaching staff, not to mention their coordinator.