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Local Residents Mobilize to Keep Music Alive in Schools

By DALE GRAHAM

When the Cheatham County Board of Education met earlier this month in a workshop, Director of Schools Tim Webb presented them with the 2012 – 2013 budget. That budget as presented, shows a revenue shortfall of nearly $1 million. Webb’s proposal to cut expenses in order to live within projected revenues, includes cutting 18 teaching positions.

“We’re bare bones, and we’re truly doing everything that we can do”, Board of Education Chair Dianne Proffitt said.

The board agreed to place the $45.3 million budget on their May 7th agenda without the proposed cuts. Those cuts include 18 teaching positions from all levels of the schools: two from each high school; three guidance counselors (1 from each middle school; the three band directors at the middle schools and; six elementary school music teachers. If the school board approves the agenda on May 7th, it will be forwarded to the County Commission for them to consider.

“We’ve cut, we’ve cut, we’ve cut, we can’t cut anymore”, Proffitt said.

“These cuts hurt me. They’re going to hurt our students, they’re going to hurt our individual schools, they’re going to hurt everyone that’s involved in this system”, 6th District representative Tammie Lavender said.

The local response to the proposed cuts has been and continues to be strong and loud. There are several letters this week, (page 5), from supporters of the music programs across the county.

The Board of Education next meets Monday, May 7th in the board annex building on Elizabeth St. in Ashland City at 7pm.

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