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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Disappointment Reigns In Upper Darby As Parents Feel Not Enough Has Been Done To Keep The Arts Programs

Tonight was a tough night for parents, students, teachers and yes, even the school board in Upper Darby School District. The formerly threatened cuts in all music and art programs have been partially reinstated after an enraged group made up of families, teachers, and other interested parties took to the airwaves and the Internet as well as posting signs in front yards to protest the wholesale decimation of a well known arts program in the School District.

Most famous alum of Upper Darby's Arts Program? Tina Fey of Saturday Night Live Fame and Second City as well as 30 Rock fame is just one of the students who have gone on to fame and fortune from Upper Darby's Arts Program.

Tonight it was announced that 19 positions have been reinstated, but some is not enough. There will not be a trained school librarian for five years of elementary school! If that is not a disgrace to eduation I do not know what is. Cuts in foreign languages and tech ed also make no sense to the enraged parents and students.

There is some hope of some last minute funding of approximately 2 million dollars, but the district has only said they will use it in the best way possible, not that it will be used to reinstate teacher and program cuts.

As a citizen of Upper Darby Township I think there are a few things that would make more sense.  Like enforcing that students attending our schools actually live in the school district and aren't just taking the El and the trolley to school each day from Philadelphia in an attempt to flee Philly schools. This continues to be a problem for a school district that is easily accessible to the population of Philadelphia.

Or doing away with the busing of many students and letting students ride Septa to school or 'gasp!' god forbid WALK to school. Our home is right on the border of students who have to walk vs. those who get a bus to school. Why one block should make that big a difference makes no sense to me. And if one block doesn't make a difference, why not two or three. We complain about how out of shape today's students are, why not have them walk to school? It would give them exercise and fresh air away from their computers and video games not to mention take off those extra pounds. Meanwhile we could trim the budget fat those buses are costing us.

Those yellow buses have to be costing us a fortune to use, gas and insure not to mention pay bus drivers to drive.

I know, I don't have all the answers. But cutting out librarians? Teachers? That makes way less dollars or cents to me. And certainly no sense at ALL.

For more information about the meeting tonight and the reaction of parents, teachers, and students read U.D. School Board approves budget.

**I am not affiliated with the Upper Darby School District or the governing body of Upper Darby Township other than as a citizen. A very concerned citizen!


  1. I hear you, Nancy. As someone who taught (in another district) for 35 years, I can attest to the importance of Art, Music, Phys Ed. and Library in the educational life of elementary students. Preparing young people for LIFE, involves more than reading, writing and arithmetic. The Left Brain is well served by academics ]. But, the Right Brain also needs nourishing. Since these brains are encased in a body, that body needs exercise.

  2. Thanks for commenting(And reading as well). Preparing our children for life is critical, and sometimes it is the arts that do just that. The link between math and music is just one area where we need to recognize that skills in one often support skills in the other. And the fact that they are taking away librarians in the elementary schools is enough to make me cry! Love of reading engenders the ability to read and understand at higher levels of education--someone is obviously not looking far enough ahead when making these cuts.