LA VETA - School districts around Colorado deal with tough decisions every year. In some cases, they're forced to cut back on popular classes like art and music. That's the current situation in the southern Colorado town of La Veta.
"We have no more fat to trim, so it's come down to cutting programs," art teacher Amber Smelser said.
The La Veta School district only has about 230 students in its K-12 school. Smelser teaches art to all of them. District money woes recently put Smelser's art class in jeopardy. The $1,500 a year budget she's given to cover all 12 grades is just too much now.
Luckily for Smelser, one of her students is up for a $20,000 prize that could save her program.
Yul Jorgensen's artwork is so impressive, that when his teacher submitted it for Lucerne's nationwide 'Art of Dairy' competition, he was selected to be one of nine finalists out of 6,500 students who applied across the country.
"I was so surprised!" Jorgensen said.
Since he's a finalist, Jorgensen must now paint a life sized blank canvas cow. He has two weeks to complete the project. At that point, his cow will go up against the other eight on a website. The public will vote and decide who wins.
Not only will the winner get $20,000 for their school, they will also get $5,000 for themselves and their teacher.
"It's an amazing opportunity," Jorgensen said.
Public voting is April 17-May 17. You can vote and learn more about the competition by following this link: http://www.artofdairy.com/Finalists/Gallery
Jorgensen is the first student from Colorado to ever become a finalist.
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