There is an emerging trend which, until recently, had been isolated to California (Redwood City, Concord, and dozens of others) that has now started to pop up in school districts across the country. I call it The Parent Trap.
Recent media reports and citizen contacts has showcased how school districts would a) single out music programs on budget referendums (If you do not buy this magazine we will kill this cat mentality).
Here is a real email I received from someone after they watched the Dr. Phil Show that illustrates the point:
I am a parent in the Islip, NY school district, and although I no longer have anyone in the elementary school I am worried. Our school's budget recently failed and cut from the school program was our music program in our Elementary schools. Our Board of Ed says that if we can raise 170,000 in donations, grants or scholarships we will be able to restore our elementary music program.
Did you notice how the burden to keep music education as part of the basic education of a child has now shifted from the school board to the parents? This is the parent trap. And more and more communities, out of the good intentions of trying to keep their music programs alive, are falling for it. The result… death by a thousand cuts.
The minute a school district is able to shift the responsibility to fund a program from the district to the parents… THEY WILL NEVER TAKE THE RESPOSNIBILITY BACK.
My point in all this? Don't let parents in your community fall for it! Check out the new report from Oklahoma below. I will expand on this point later!
The idea was suggested for the Booster Club to come up with private funding for the new band director. Wenzel along with a few other board members offered to help financially support a fund-raiser.
Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise Online
MercuryNews.com | 07/05/2005 | Music classes saved, not teachers