Shelton budget cuts have trickle-down effect in music program

SHELTON — A Shelton Intermediate School music teacher was one of 22 position eliminations approved Wednesday as the school board looks to bring its budget in line with the $72,765,000 the city has allocated for the Board of Education. The Board of Aldermen approved the $128 million city budget Friday.

Interim Superintendent Beth Smith said the current SIS music teacher is retiring. Rather than hire someone new, the decision was made to move one of three Perry Hill music teachers to SIS, leaving only two at the elementary school. The move saves the school board $103,699.

Perry Hill School Principal Lorraine Williams said since Perry Hill is an elementary school serving grades five and six, all students take general music.

“We currently have three music teachers. Two teach general music, and one teaches band,” Williams said.

With only two music teachers at the school, band will have to be eliminated.

“It will be very difficult to work out a schedule for all students to take general music and still offer band with only two teachers,” Williams said. “This is an unfortunate cut.”

The Board of Education’s reductions in staff and programs save the district $2.6 million, but the board still needs to cut about $457,000.

The school board expects to make further budget cuts at a Zoom meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. Residents can view the meeting live at the Shelton public schools website.