Upper Darby School District, well known for the Arts, announces massive cuts to Art, Music, PE and Library for the 2012 school year.
Parents, students and teachers protest at school board meetings, here gathering outside before school board meeting.
The local and national press pick up the story. Eventually online activism gets the support of celebrities like Tom Hanks and Tina Fey, who is a graduate of the arts and theater programs here.
Community members continue to fill the performing arts center during school board meetings throughout the fall and summer. Public comments go until 2 am during one meeting.
Protests lead to organized fund raising and social media activism.
A trip to the state capital Harrisburg to protest leads to some indications that some of the funding will come back.
To complicate matters the taxpayers public money is being siphoned from the school district by the explosion in for profit charter schools. In fact the head of education appointed by the Governor Ron Tomalis is a former charter school president.
The protests, letter writing and press eventually do yield some results. Our local politicians work to bring back much of the money that is needed to restore the programs.
But despite hiring back the teachers with the restored funds the administration still goes ahead with a "realignment" plan which delegates the arts programs to a supporting role integrated into Math and Social Studies classes.
The community has fought to bring back the funding, the teachers are rehired, but the programs the community has fought for are still being curtailed. Why?