- Associated Press - Sunday, April 16, 2017

JENNINGS, La. (AP) - The Jefferson Davis Parish School Board is eliminating art and music programs next school year as part of $1.4 million in cuts. Band programs will remain in place.

Budget cuts unanimously approved Thursday will also include ending or reducing ACT boot camps, and reducing money for summer camps and for summer teacher professional development, The American Press reported (https://bit.ly/2paUe3q).

“We will still have students exposed to art and music, but it will be done by the regular classroom teacher,” said Superintendent Kirk Credeur.

He said the school board cut $500,000 from this year’s budget, but it wasn’t enough.

“I value all these programs tremendously and it is difficult, but I am looking at sustainability for the district and fiscal health,” Credeur said.

Two high-school assistant principal’s jobs will be left vacant, an elementary school assistant principal’s position will be eliminated, and assistant principals at three other schools will become administrative assistants.

The plan ends art programs at Lacassine and Hathaway high schools and Lake Arthur and Elton elementary schools. Music programs will end at Fenton, Welsh, James Ward and Jennings elementary schools.

Credeur said school costs have risen steadily while state and federal money has been cut. Teacher retirement has risen from 15 percent to 28 percent of total costs over the past five or six years, he said.

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