FBISD students, parents fight to save fine arts programs

May 9, 2011 7:15:02 PM PDT
Parents and students from one Fort Bend ISD high school are fighting what they say is the district's efforts to slash the school's fine arts programs.

On Monday night, they spoke before the school board, trying to get Austin High School assistant band director Adrian Caswell reinstated. He's been reassigned to an elementary school.

Students and parents organized a grass roots effort through Facebook, where they write they want to "open the eyes of the leaders of our administration..." and that they are "blinded by the economic crisis."

Fort bend ISD is dealing with a budget shortfall of as much as $70 million. It says there have been cuts to bands district wide, and to sports programs, too.

The school district denies any allegation that fine arts programs alone have been the target of cuts.

In a statement, the district said:

"As a direct result of the State budget shortfall, there was a redistribution of staffing standards throughout the District. Most high schools will continue to have a band director and an assistant band director, as will Austin, according to student enrollment in the band program. Some schools have only one Band Director. Austin will lose the third assistant band director position only. The assistant band director has been reassigned to an elementary campus with the opportunity to apply for any vacancy in the near future."