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Ohio School Board To Consider Change That May Eliminate Jobs For Art, Music & Gym Teachers

The Ohio Board of Education may do away with current staffing requirements for specialized jobs at districts across the state.

A daily run around the park is almost essential for 2-year-old Sean Watkins.  His parents recognize his need for exercise and, having both been active in theater, they encourage the arts.

"It's just hard to imagine Sean not having the opportunity to do stuff like that," said mom Katie Watkins.

When Watkins heard the state board of education might do away with the requirements for elementary art, phys. ed. and music teachers, as well as counselors, school nurses and librarians, she couldn't believe it.

"It just doesn't seem right to me," said Watkins.  "It just seems like a team, a team effort, and all of those individuals will help different aspects of a child's life."

But it's a move that could help districts in a financial bind.  A physical education advocate in town for the meeting says administrators face tough decisions and this could make things easier.  But, it's not a good solution.

"Every school child should have access to physical education, quality physical education, to art, to music," said Steve Mitchell.

Watkins thinks giving districts the ability to cut all of these programs out means an unbalanced education.  "You can't limit children to just sitting and cramming that stuff all day." 

The meeting accepting public comment will be at 10:30 am. at the Columbus Convention Center, but a vote isn’t expected until next month.