Those of you who have heard me speak, know how I feel about music and art education. You also know that I have a passion for making music, even though I have no formal training in composition, and that my son is one of the best high school musicians in the state and plans to study music performance in college.
All of that said, we have just learned that the middle school that my children attended will eliminate its full time music teacher this year and drop the 6th grade band. Apparently, budget constraints are preventing the school from continuing its very fine music program, because of increased expectations from government regulations and continued inadequate funding.
Primary among the responsible is our County Commission, who is funding $14,000,000 less than the School Board asked for. As I’ve reported before, one of Wake County’s continuing challenges is enrollment. 2005-2006 expects to see between 5,000 and 6,000 additional students.
All concerned want what’s best for our children. But in the continuing struggle to balance budgets without impacting on tax payers, a very simple but definite fact is being ignored. Our world has changed and it will continue to change, and the classrooms of the twentieth century will not prepare our children for that world.