TDSB proposes cutting music programs to balance budget

The Toronto District School Board is considering laying off music instructors to save millions and help balance next year's budget.

Laying off music instructors would save board $2 million

The Toronto District School Board is considering laying off music instructors to save millions and help balance next year's budget.

Under the program, part-time instructors train elementary teachers who instruct classes in vocals and music.  Cutting the jobs would save the TDSB roughly $2 million.

In total, the board needs to cut $27 million from the budget and is voting on a series of proposed cuts next month.  

Board trustee Howard Goodman said he doesn't support firing the instructors because it would jeopardize music programs in the schools. 

"This is a tiny little piece of how we deliver music," Goodman said. "It’s a question of whether there are better ways of spending this money, or money in music to deliver better quality programs for students."

Fellow trustee Chris Glover said he wouldn't be voting for the cuts to music programs.

"If the province wants to put us under supervision then they can make the cuts and do it themselves," Glover said. "I recognize the importance of music instruction to our kids, to the students in our schools, and I’m not going to make those cuts."

The TDSB is also considering cutting back overtime for maintenance services and reducing school's discretionary budgets by 4 per cent.