UPDATED BLOG POST WITH REVISED CHART.
OK. So Tuesday morning, Mayor Brown gathers a group of instrument playing school kids around him and announces that the city is giving the district $400,000 to restore "all" of it's instrumental music programs. Superintendent Pamela Brown also refers to restorations to "all" schools. That's good news, but not QUITE as good as the public has been led to believe.
Even though most schools that had eliminated band programs will have those programs restored to some degree, most aren't getting their programs restored to last school year's levels. And, contrary to what we reported in today's paper, it appeared TWO high schools -- Riverside and Bennett -- weren't getting their band programs restored at all.
At least, that's the conclusion I drew based on the information initially provided to me by the Buffalo school district. Since our story and blog post ran today, and since obtaining further information from the district this afternoon, there have been some changes. Instrumental music was restored to Riverside High School. Chief Financial Officer Barbara Smith also provided more updated information regarding other music program cuts.
One thing she explained, for instance, is that Bennett High School opted to exchange its full-time instrumental music teacher for a full-time vocal music teacher instead. So Bennett currently has no instrumental program, but presumably more kids will be able to participate in other types of music classes.
The district didn't mention this at all, but music teachers have informed me that the money provided by the city will also restore the fourth- and fifth-grade Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra educational concert series for this coming school year. So that's good.
Below is the revised school-by-school chart, based on the latest district information, on how instrumental music teaching positions are being allocated at each school that suffered cuts in the 2013-14 budget. Be aware that decimal numbers refer to part-time positions. Many full-time instrumental music teachers teach part-time at more than one school: