A recent article at KABB news web site has sent a shiver of fear down my daughter’s back, as well as many other Northeast School of the Arts (NESA) high school students. The article appears below:

N.E.I.S.D. Magnet Program Slated to End
Could teachers in one of our biggest school districts be losing their jobs? N.E.I.S.D. declared a financial emergency in October and decided to eliminate around 150 teachers and block scheduling. Now, the future of the district’s art magnet program called Northeast School of the Arts housed at Lee High School is on the line. Students we spoke to were shocked to hear the news.

“It’s been such an important part of this community for so many years and to just get rid of that overnight would be a pretty dark thing,” says Ernest Campos, a senior in the musical theater program.

The program costs the district eight thousand per student compared to around $6,500 for a typical high school education. It’s the most expensive of the district’s twelve magnet programs. N.E.I.S.D. officials did not tell us how many teachers would be cut as a result. This is part of the district’s cumulative plan to save 63 million dollars over the next three years.

Posted by: Jessica Toumani

Monday, January 11 2010, 10:09 PM CST

The NESA program is one of the BEST education programs I have come in contact with. As an English major in college (UTSA), I was shocked at the level of content and thinking being expected of high school students in the Creative Writing program at NESA. . .it is the kind of thinking and writing that most people don’t learn how to do in ANY program at the high school or college level. Yet, the NorthEast ISD is putting NESA on the chopping block.

In response, I’d like to suggest that NEISD save some money by cutting its sports program and siphon that funding to save the NorthEast School of the Arts, which also provides valuable learning opportunities for students interested in International Business Careers. The more I reflect on the value of NESA and its profound impact on the work of the children who were applied and were chosen to attend from around the City, I can’t help but confess disappointment at the lack of ingenuity and creativeness in financing.

And, yes, I am a parent of children in NorthEast ISD.

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