Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Buffalo school students will likely be able to keep up their instrumental music lessons after all.
The district had planned to eliminate lessons at 14 city schools and reduce programs in others to save money. On Tuesday, Mayor Byron Brown offered $400,000 from the city's budget to restore the threatened programs.
The measure needs approval from the Common Council, but President Richard Fontana is supportive.
The Buffalo Public Schools issued this statement:
We are very grateful for the support of Mayor Byron Brown and the City of Buffalo in their willingness to assist the school district in the restoration of instrumental music in Buffalo Public Schools. This generous $400,000 contribution will be utilized to restore programming to 13 schools and over 2,000 students, the majority of whom are in our lowest performing schools.
This funding will restore a total of 5.26 full time employees and provide instrumental programming, two days per cycle, to all of the elementary schools that cut their programs through school-based budgeting. In addition, the program at International Preparatory, a school that serves a high percentage of immigrant students, will be fully restored. These restorations will provide for feeder programs into the Buffalo Visual and Performing Arts and other high schools.
Based on current research, students who are involved with instrumental music enjoy higher academic achievement, improved attendance and better communication skills.
While we realize this is only a one-year solution, it will give the District additional time to determine the role of music programs in the core curriculum and gather input from school communities to plan for students’ needs as we continue our mission to provide every student with a world class education.