Budget cuts could wipe out school music program

Posted at 11:19 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-18 02:19:17-04

San Diego Unified budget cuts could devastate music programs across the district.

Monday night, children and their parents gathered outside the Scripps Ranch Recreation Center to make signs for a rally Tuesday morning outside Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary.

"These teachers are part of the fabric of our school, the community," said Sunil Moorjani.

Moorjani's twin sons and daughter all learned to play guitar at EBS, but the school's music and orchestra teachers received pink slips from the district.

"People think oh, because it's an elective it's not as important as core curriculum like English and science, but studies have shown people have music in their lives tend to grow up to be well rounded individuals," said Moorjani.

His twin sons said music class is their favorite part of the day. 

There's a variety of instruments and everyone can like one and you can learn a lot of new things, it stays in your brain and it's fun to play for other people," said Asha Moorjani.

"We just really hope that they don't get rid of it, cause it's really important to us, " said Devin Moorjani.

Music isn't the only subject taking a hit at EBS. The school's gym teacher also got a lay off notice.

"I challenge them to find another solution, because you may say, we're not cutting class sizes but you are impacting the class because you have a regular teacher who is going to be teaching physical ed who is not using that time to prep for the day," said Moorjani. 

The district is cutting $124 million dollars from the 2017-2018 school year. More than 1,400 positions are in jeopardy including teachers, janitors, and employees in the central office.  The cuts are based on a worst case scenario and won't be finalized until California Governor Jerry Brown releases his final budget in May or June.

Parents plan to rally outside EBS Tuesday morning from 7:50 a.m. to 8:40 a.m.  They're hoping to promote awareness and get as many people as possible to attend a series of upcoming town hall meetings with the school board.

"I know we have a budget we have a deficit we have to find another way," said Moorjani.

10News tried contacting San Diego Unified to find out how the cuts are affecting music programs at other schools, but our call was not returned.