Faced with a directive to cut 8 percent of its $2 million budget, an art-focused magnet school in Baton Rouge is planning to cut its visual arts teacher, a move that has angered parents and sparked a charged meeting Tuesday night in the school auditorium.
The meeting was prompted by an online petition drive launched over the weekend by a couple of parents. By Tuesday night, they had collected 136 signatures.
“I know that you’re angry about this. I feel your anger. I’m angry that I have to do this,” said Mark Richterman, principal of the Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts, which opened its doors in 1996.
Richterman, who has worked in education for 44 years, said he also is cutting another office position at the school, but wouldn’t identify who was being cut. He made it clear he is not changing his mind and deciding what to eliminate is his choice alone.