SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — In an effort to address a budget deficit, the South Kingstown School Committee has made decisions that caused an uproar among some students, parents and teachers.

To close the roughly $1.1 million shortfall, the committee made cuts to several school programs including music, chorus, and dual language immersion.

Many who oppose the cuts spoke up Tuesday night, calling the move a devastating blow to the arts program.

“We don’t fit in at school and we don’t fit into the budget either,” one student said.

Superintendent Mark Prince said the cuts are a necessity for the district.

“Over the past few months, the school committee has made many difficult budgetary decisions, from closing an elementary school and redistricting students. These two interventions did not provide the necessary relief needed to balance the budget,” Prince explained in a statement. “In light of that, the committee had to reduce programming to close the budget shortfall.”

Curtis Corner Middle School band director Eric Drew said this isn’t the first time the arts program has faced cuts. This time around, a full-time chorus teacher will be reduced to part-time and a stringed instrument teacher is not being renewed.

“With the cuts that are proposed, it would be possible for a student to go from sixth grade to twelfth grade without a single music class,” he added. “There simply wouldn’t be enough music teachers in classes to ensure otherwise. Imagine that.”

More than 700 students are performing in various ensembles, according to Drew, who hopes the committee will reconsider.