DENVER (KDVR) — A river of students marched around the Denver School of the Arts Monday afternoon, chanting emphatically that they wanted to save their teachers’ jobs.
The school is one of many facing budget shortfalls due to, among other things, a declining student population.
Students told FOX31 the school offers a unique learning environment and they fear losing good teachers and clubs being cut.
“Class sizes will increase. We are going to lose clubs. We’re going to lose kids,” junior Eleanor Coates said.
Students left classes around 11 a.m. Monday and were escorted by school staff. Students believe the cuts are unfair and want to fight for a budget that will maintain staffing at current levels.
“It means I’m losing my community. We live in a very individualistic society and DSA is a place where I can feel safe and don’t have to fight for myself. And I don’t want that taken away from me,” sophomore Eleanor Fretz said.
Denver Public Schools Facing Funding Cuts
The Denver School of the Arts faces a possible budget shortfall of more than $480,000 next year. It’s not the only school losing funds in the district.
“This is an unfortunate process that schools across the country must go through every year to ensure they are financially responsible to taxpayers while continuing to educate students,” said Scott Pribble, head of Denver Public Schools public information.
Students fear that budget cuts will begin to destroy a culture in which many children thrive.
“It’s vital for everyone here. Queer kids losing their accepting teachers. Clubs that lose their teacher sponsor are going to be completely destroyed,” said sophomore Hayden Ferrandini.
Each school decides how to spend the money it receives. It’s unclear what kind of impact the walkout will have on the school’s budget discussions.
FOX31 has learned that the fired teachers will be officially notified later this month.
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