“Public School Cuts Music Programs; Teachers Lose Jobs”
“High School Music Program Slashed”
“Budget Cuts Affect Music and Arts”
We see those headlines in the news all the time.
Now we are seeing such headlines in the local Pioneer Press with regards to Norridge School District 80: ‘”One of the saddest, most depressing moments’: Norridge District 80 board votes to eliminate band program”
Now everyone needs to come together and stop pointing fingers and blaming others. Everyone needs to take ownership of the solutions. There are NO other options or avenues. All actions that have been taken by the School District 80 Board of Education 1) Grade Centers 2) teachers lost their jobs 3) sports fee 3) Kindergarten tuition for all day 4) larger class sizes; these actions are not the boards fault.
The Norridge School District 80 Board of Education has demonstrated great leadership and a forward approach to addressing the educational needs of the community while working under an extreme financial restraint. The Norridge community needs to thank the SD 80 Board members for their service, and their honesty and selfless decision making efforts.
Would’ve……………could’ve ………………..should’ve…………………..are all too late NOW.
NOW everyone needs to work together.
It has been disheartening to many because of the lack of present band parent support.
Go to this page and ask your friends, relatives and neighbors to show their support by donating to this worthy program :
“Heading in to the vote, board members had backed a proposal agreeing to keep the band program going if a minimum of 125 students would pay a fee of $650 to keep the program running three years before being phased out, or if they would pay $800 with participation of 150 students to keep it running as is.
Community response fell far under those figures. In a paper survey distributed by district band director Chris Bucaro and Giles Principal Stephanie Palmer to all fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-grade band students, 44.7 percent of those surveyed said yes to the $650, and 15.8 percent said yes to the full $800, and 39.5 percent said no to any additional fee, according to the results tabulated Feb. 13.
Attendance has been sparse at community meetings called by parents to look into fundraising to save the program. Board member Pasquale Biondo, who has had three children in the district band program, was one of a handful of parents to show up at a meeting at Eisenhower Public Library on Feb. 12.
So far, “we’re limited, in what we (board members) can do,” he told community members, “and without help and support, we’ve been alone.”
“We need more parents to stand up and be involved,” he added.”
The community has failed to support Norridge SD 80 during their multiple efforts to pass a referendum and now the parents and community have failed to step up and assist the Board of Education in saving the band program.
Now the question must be asked, Does the Norridge community care about quality education and a great band program ?
The answer appears to be a deafening “NO” !!!
During every budget cycle, teachers, parents, and music advocates hold their collective breaths hoping cuts will not come down on their programs. This is because music and the arts are often at the top of the “cut list” — but why is this? Board of Education members aren’t necessarily “music haters”, and community members (at least on the surface) don’t want to see music leave the school curriculum. But the cuts keep on coming year after year, and some feel powerless to stop them.
My grammar school band director and my mother, who taught music, laid my music foundation, developed my instrumental skills, and enriched my appreciation of the arts.
My high school band instructor, helped me through my high school career by motivating me, inspiring me, and believing in me, as he did for every student. A music teacher is more than an instructor; they are a friend, mentor, and role model. Music education helps students connect with adults, such as their teachers, better, and help them create a strong connection. This connection corresponds to academics, willingness to participate in school, and the work force. Sharing a bond with an instructor can encourage the student to want to come to school, learn, and participate.
Nevertheless, the cuts are wrong and in many cases are not in the best interest of the systems and the children they serve. When it comes to budget cuts, schools in other countries and great districts in our country do not cut the arts first.
Here are a few of the main reasons why music is cut from school each year, and some thoughts about how they can be avoided:
Many may argue that school leaders are not innovative. Here we are in the 21st century, yet our education system is built on a 19th century model: the idea of academic ability and that the “most useful subjects” that can “get you a job or into college” are at the top of some educational hierarchy. Academic ability — not the capacity for creative thought — still dominates our view of intelligence and therefore our school budget priorities. But as our continued poor academic standing in the world has shown, this way does not work. As far as a creative approach to education is concerned, however, I truly believe the pendulum is about to swing the other way. The age of hyper-standardized testing will soon come to a halt, and there will be a push for more arts instruction in schools. Until that day, we all need to continue to remind school leaders that if they are going to push for innovation in school curricula, they need to put their trust into the arts to fulfill that mission.
Cutting music instruction will negatively affect the creativity of our next generation’s leaders, so now is the time for parents to be arts advocates– not only in our schools, but in our communities and in the press as well. Parents should be aware of local and federal timing issues, such as when school budgets are planned and when elections take place. They should always feel free to contact the media in thoughtful response to budget cuts to the arts and follow up with timely letters to administrators with thoughts and concerns.
In the past few years, many Districts have been struggling to sustain music programs in schools. Some superintendents and school boards cut music programs because some schools have weak programs, along with a lack of support from parents, which makes music an easy target, especially when budgets are tight.
Unfortunately, much of society is unaware of just how beneficial music is to every student in the program, both socially and developmentally.
Short-sighted budget “fixes”. Many do not realize that strengthening and improving in-school music programs can actually save money. In my experience, the first administrative quick-fix for budget issues has been reducing or eliminating music programs. However, music classes usually have high student-teacher ratios, so cutting music programs may actually have negative budget implications over the longer term. Basically, a cut to an instrumental music teacher may result in two or more teachers needing to be hired later to provide elective classes with low student-teacher ratios. The cuts end up being short-sighted — and bringing back a music program once it is cut is very rare and incredibly difficult to do.
The intangible and tangible benefits of music education will never appear in the sterile data represented by tests scores. “Right brained”, creative people will be the next leaders and innovators in our country, and public school was created to foster these young brains. Cutting music instruction will negatively affect the creativity of our next generation’s leaders, so now is the time for parents to be arts advocates– not only in our schools, but in our communities and in the press as well. Parents should be aware of local and federal timing issues, such as when school budgets are planned and when elections take place. They should always feel free to contact the media in thoughtful response to budget cuts to the arts and follow up with timely letters to administrators with thoughts and concerns.
Music is one of the most impressive and beautiful achievements of the human race and deserves a permanent place in education. The intellectual growth and happiness of our children depend on it.
The recent budget cuts involving Band in Norridge SD 80 will negatively affect their student’s advancement in education.
The importance of music education on children is grossly over- looked by public school systems. When the school board does not take into consideration that music benefits a child academically as well as in greater society, they lose the foundation to a student’s well-rounded future. Test scores show it, attitude and cooperation show it, and the work force shows it–music education affects not only a child’s scholastic career, but also his or her future. It is wrong to take funds away from public school music programs; however, it is more wrong to be taking away funds for education as a whole.
Funds taken out of music education as well as general education will only negatively affect a child’s life as well as Norridge’s future as a Village. A child’s education is like a seed, when it is planted, it can grow. If the government takes away this seed, Norridge will not grow.
Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” and that is the weapon every child should own.
6 years ago 40% of students entering High School form district 80 could NOT read at grade level. I think the district has bigger fish to fry than worrying about band. If the parents of the students who are in band want to keep it, let them fund it. Tax payer money is being wasted on supporting Extra curriculars. After all if you can afford to live in Norridge, $850 a year for your child to participate shouldn’t be a big deal. As was said by a Norridge resident years ago when asking for funding, “give up that pizza you order once a week”. Tax dollars need to be spent on real education. High school teachers should not be burdened with students who can’t read. Life is about tough choices. Learn to succeed in reading, writing and arithmetic and you will be able to find a decent job. Even the trades require reading ability.