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Program cuts hurt students

When financially struggling schools must find away to save money, program cuts are always a possibility. Especially when it comes to extracurricular programs and the arts.

That’s why a recent decision by the Ohio Board of Education is somewhat concerning. The board voted this week to eliminate staffing requirements that some say will allow districts to cut art teachers, counselors and others.

The board agreed in a 11-7 vote to remove the long-standing “5 of 8” rule, which required school districts to have a minimum number of art, music and physical education teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses and social workers. The rule required at least five of those eight positions for every 1,000 students in a school district.

There has been a lot of debate across the nation about the cons of teaching children based on standardized tests and Common Core goals.

With schools required to produce certain results on these tests, the focus seems to be steering students away from a well-rounded education, which includes art, music and extracurricular sports and clubs.

While removing the “5 of 8” rule isn’t directly cutting these programs from districts, it is allowing districts the ability to cut these positions and not keep at least minimum staffing. Schools districts with especially low funding may eventually make the decision to cut these staffing positions, but the fact is those districts should not have to be put in the position to make such decisions.

If the Ohio Board of Education wants to help its school districts, it should petition legislators for more funding from the state level.