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Music program cut from Conotton Valley curriculum

By Don Rutledge
FPS Associate Editor

In a move to reduce costs, the music program in the Conotton Valley School District has been discontinued.

At a meeting Nov. 19, the Conotton Valley Board of Education voted to abolish the teaching position for K-12 music currently held by Carey Moore.

According to a resolution approved by a vote of 5-0, the music, band and choir programs were discontinued effective Nov. 20, along with Moore’s teaching contract.

School officials said the discontinuation involves some 200 students in grades K-6, 11 band members and nine choir members who are to be given classroom assignments. Superintendent Adam Pettis also noted there has been a significant declining interest in the marching band and choir program.

The reduction will result in a savings of $43,542 for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year, according to Deborah Henry, district treasurer. “This includes the salary and benefits for Moore for the remainder of this school year,” Henry noted.

Voters turned down a 9.96 mill operating levy for the district at the Nov. 6 general election by just over 200 votes. The levy would have generated $700,000 annually.

“The board and I regret the decision of implementing a reduction in force. However, we are recognizing the district’s financial obligation. Our decision to implement a reduction was based on financial reasons,” said Pittis.

 “If the program were to be reinstated, Moore would have the first option to bid on the position based on our local negotiated agreement,” he said.

“Any reduction in force in the field of education can be devastating even to one child. However, given the current financial situation of the school district this reduction in force is necessary.

“We, as a district, have several significant financial obligations to meet in order to avoid the state imposing a fiscal emergency. There will most likely be additional reductions or changes to how we spend public funds,” he added.

Although the school district is currently in deficit spending and facing a deficit of some $300,000 by June 30, 2014, Henry said there is no current deficit as a result of a $457,160 carryover balance last July 1. That balance is expected to decrease to $120,000 by the end of this year, she noted.

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