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Parents Talk: Should Music Programs Be Cut During School Budget Reductions?

As some school districts struggle with budget reductions, elementary music programs might be the first areas cut.

It has become a common scenario across many Twin City school districts. 

No passage of an operating levy in November equals a spring of budget reductions. 

Some school boards have been considering cutting some of the music programs out of their district offerings. 

A recommendation in District 834 to cut fifth- and sixth-grade instrumental music programs to save $300,000 if a November levy doesn’t pass brought criticism from the Stillwater Area High School Orchestra Director. 

“The elementary cost center’s suggestion appears disingenuous and may lack the integrity that the Stillwater community expects from its schools and from its School Board,” Stillwater Area High School Orchestra Director Jerry Jones said. “This elimination looks as though it is only effecting the fifth and sixth grade, where in fact it would eliminate the entire program in time.” 

As part of a two-year $11 million budget reductions in the Osseo School District, following a failed operating levy request last November, it is being proposed to cut fifth grade orchestra. 

School funding continues to be a hot button issue throughout Minnesota, such as  – some school districts claiming funding formulas are unfair

When school boards decide where to cut money – should music programs receive the ax? 

I’m torn. I’ve had two children in a school district several years ago when millions of dollars in budget cuts took place. As a parent – it was tough experience. You ask yourself, “What do I think should be cut?” 

There are no easy answers. 

Should students, schools and staff face the music and expect a possible future without music programs? Or, should school boards find other areas to cut?  Should anything be “off the table” when it comes to school budget reductions?

Share your thoughts in comments.

ABSG April 27, 2013 at 01:01 PM
YOU PLAY = YOU PAY = 100% Its time sports and other extra curricular activities are removed and privatized to either the cities, private organizations or businesses. I 100% agree with Markus - why should I have to pay for my neighbors kid to play a sport? How ludicrous is that? How about I pay gas money to so his parents can drive him to all this stuff 4 nights a week? Seriously - Why stop at just the fee? How about I help pay for the food your soon to be pro athelete needs? It's time some of you wake up .... The Free ride is over! The districts have so severely mismanaged years and years of funds now they are just stuck in a cycle of begging! We need to choke off the begging at some point and not just with school districts either .... we need to choke off this moronic notion of spreading the wealth garbage at the State and Federal level as well. All of you people that think some else should have to pay need a wake up call. There is just not enough money to go around!
Mike B. April 27, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Public schools should be eliminated, or at the very least parents should be charged for the actual costs so that the schools break even without any tax dollars. Our property taxes would go way down. Why should I pay for educating someone else's kids? And even worse, paying for their recreational activities? Catholic and private schools are the models we should strive for. Education should follow the free enterprise model in our country. Free education is not a "right."
Mike B. April 27, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Don't contact the school board! Have the parents pay for the orchestra themselves! No more freeloading from the general population for the activities of parents and their kids.
jody siefert May 18, 2013 at 08:32 AM
Let's go back to privatizing schools. Our children are becoming victims of a political battleground. Everyone wants their mind. They are our children, not the the government's children. Let's go back to classical education so we can stop the madness of using text books that interpret 10 other interpretations. Let's read from the source, create thinkers, not sheep.
Mike B. May 18, 2013 at 09:53 AM
You are correct, Jody. This country would be much better off if each and every school was private, and run like a business. The students would receive a better education at less money. And the students would not be indoctrinated with all this P.C. garbage that is being thrown in their faces. As it is, everything except the three R's are being taught in schools. And history has been whitewashed beyond recognition. George Washington is reduced in history books to a couple of sentences, but to be politically correct, George Washington Carver is given three pages.

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