Springfield, Mass., School District Hires An Arts Teacher For Every Building
Starting next year, every student in Springfield, Massachusetts, public schools will receive art and music instruction.
It's a surprise use of resources when the trend has been for more science and math learning.
School officials said the district will spend $3 million to hire 38 certified art and music teachers.
The funds come from dozens of job position cuts and consolidation in the central office, according to Patrick Roach, the district's chief financial and operations officer.
In a district where more than half of 10th graders aren't proficient in math, the addition of art and music is part of a multi-pronged teaching approach.
The classes will free up time for other subject teachers to look at students' learning needs, Roach said.
“It’s an opportunity for groups of teachers to get together, review data, and come up with more specific plans on specific students — and we think that's going to have some major improvements on data and testing,” he said.
Research shows art and music in schools also have a positive effect on other learning, Roach said. And if the school budget gets tight, he said it's not arts jobs that will be cut, as is typical in districts everywhere.