Baltimore School for the Arts students walk out in protest of recent budget cuts. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun video)
Students at the Baltimore School for the Arts walked out of class Monday in protest of a $400,000 budget cut handed down by Baltimore city public schools.
The cut has caused school administrators to cut their librarian position and the beloved school librarian will be reassigned, said Stephanie Jayakanthan, the school spokeswoman. Baltimore public schools faced deep budget cuts before state and city leaders pledged money to shrink a district-wide $130 million deficit.
Chris Ford, the school's director, said the school wanted to preserve positions that directly related to education.
"We wanted to focus on positions that are supporting kids in the classroom, children struggling with academic work, and the arts program," he said. Ford did not comment on the walk out.
Ford said he was "grateful" that officials were able to shrink the size of the budget cut.
Still, principals must make difficult decisions about what to fund next year with slimmer budgets. City schools CEO Sonja Santelises is expected to present her budget proposal for next year at the school board meeting next Tuesday.
Santelises said in a statement it was important to note that the decisions about layoffs happened at the school level.
"Baltimore School for the Arts students' passion for their school is clear, and I continue to be energized by our students' powerful voices as advocates for the education they deserve," she said. "As a result of their advocacy and that of the entire City Schools community, the district has received $60 million in additional resources for the coming school year. This means that most of the cuts that our schools faced have been reversed and, while some layoffs will still occur, there will be far fewer than originally anticipated."