Music is the First Thing to Get Cut
I received the following forwarded message, from my high school band director. As soon as I read it, it worried me:
This Thursday, the school board members will be seeking input and discussing a list of proposed budget cuts. On the list of proposed cuts for next year is all elementary music and 6th to 8th grade band.
If the cuts are approved the only band in the school district will be the high school band which will last only a couple of years as it dies away with the lack of lower grade participation. Please come to this meeting and voice your support for the music programs.
Please make every effort to attend. If you cannot, feel free to email or call any of the school board members.
We need to let the board know that the community feels music is an essential part of a child’s education and nothing less. I know we can muster support from board members, but they need to see that the community believes music is a priority.
I sent each of the board members an e-mail praising them for their judgment. The letter, of course, assumes that they don’t drop elementary and middle school band. I didn’t just say that carte blanche, though. I promised to send them a nasty e-mail if they did drop music.
To think I had thought my school district immune to this sort of short-sightedness. Alas, no more.
It’s a nasty word, but why don’t a few administrative types volunteer a temporary pay cut? It worked for Steve Jobs.
Something makes me think that ain’t gonna fly.
Moral of the story? In such situations, defer to Mel Brooks. “Hope for the best, expect the worst.”