Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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May 10, 2010

Einstein's Visual Arts Center faces budget cuts

by Mandy Xu, News and Entertainment editor
Beginning in the 2011 school year, only one teacher will instruct all Albert Einstein Visual Arts Center (VAC) classes due to county budget cuts, according to VAC instructor Michael Piechocinski. The VAC teachers were informed in mid-April.

Einstein's Visual Art Center will cut one instructing position and one class starting in the 2011 school year. Courtesy of Montgomery County Public Schools
Einstein's Visual Art Center will cut one instructing position and one class starting in the 2011 school year.
VAC teacher Jane Walsh will lose her position, but Piechocinski will remain on staff. "We were informed that as a part of the MCPS budget situation, we will have a 50 percent reduction in staff here at the VAC," Piechocinski said. "We will be reduced from two to one."

Piechocinski plans to eliminate one VAC course to compensate for the loss. "We will cut one of the double period courses in the morning," he said. Currently, there are three different sessions offered daily between 7:25 a.m. and 2:10 p.m.

The VAC is a countywide comprehensive program directed toward portfolio development, according to the VAC website. The programís goal is to help students realize and achieve their full potential, and serves students both in and out of the Downcounty Consortium.

"We have, over the years, had students come as far as Poolesville and Damascus," Piechocinski said. "Roughly about one third of our 70 so students are coming from other cities."

Despite this recent setback, Piechocinski is not worried about the future of the VAC. "In any situation, you always strive to be as positive as possible," he said. He expressed that as long as the students remain focused, the program will remain strong. "The success and continuation of the program will depend on the students," he said. "Will it be difficult? Yes. Is it going to be possible? Yes," he said.

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  • Sue (View Email) on May 13, 2010 at 9:48 AM
    Join our "Save the VAC" facebook group to protest this cut. And write to the Board of Education at
  • this was a really bad decision on May 13, 2010 at 10:15 PM
    honestly, what where they thinking?
    what is this choice even based on?
  • m on May 23, 2010 at 11:51 PM
    for a vis arts program, you'd think someone might put a little time into their logo...
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