Officials in the Lake Shore Central School District have decided to maintain the district's elementary art and music program at this year's level, and add two teaching positions in the upcoming budget so the program can be expanded to include the middle school.
The decision was a reversal of an earlier plan to cut back the elementary school program while expanding it to include the middle school, using existing staff. The board reconsidered its position after more than 150 parents showed up at the last board meeting to protest the cuts and more than 400 signatures opposing the changes were presented.
During a special meeting of the board Tuesday night that was held to outline the instructional portion of the upcoming budget, district Business Manager Carter Town said the board made the changes at "the request of all the parents at the last meeting."
Much of the concern raised at last month's meeting was from parents of elementary pupils who felt they were being shortchanged at the expense of the older students.
Reaction from the more than 50 parents at Tuesday's meeting was mixed.
"It's a wonderful thing," T.C. Ferrito, one of the parents opposed to the cuts, said after the meeting. "It shows the positive impact of concerned and involved parents."
However, Heather Shean, another parent, said the board's action wasn't good enough.
"I feel they're holding the budget over our heads," she said.
School officials conceded that if the budget is defeated, the new positions would be cut.