The Lodi Unified School District is facing a $25 million budget deficit. To try to make ends meet officials are sending pink slips to nearly four hundred teachers and cutting some music programs in the fifth through eighth grades.
But some parents and educators say music is an integral part of education. John Larrieu is executive director of the California Association of Music Education. He says whenever school budgets get tight music programs are among the first targeted.
"There’s a lot of very expensive equipment necessary to make music programs and it takes a specialized teacher to run them."
Officials point out that unlike math, science and language arts, music programs aren’t mandated by the state.