Music programs...gone?

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The Duel
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Music programs...gone?

Post by The Duel » Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:20 pm

Those budget cuts MIGHT be the end of the music programs!

what are your thoughts?

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Post by Hostrauser » Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:29 pm

Yep. Might be.

Been there, done this. Prop 13 redux.

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Post by tooweird » Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:16 pm

it might severely affect many schools...i saw on the news encinal and stuff...their program might be greatly affected as well and something about solano county and vallejo...that might be an issue as well
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Post by seanrj » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:23 pm

How can they cut what is not funded by the school?

They are going to have to have a teacher in the classroom with the students. Also, by contract music teacher can have more than the "maximum" number of students in their ensemble classes than other subject teachers. So from a certain point of view, it would be detrimental to cut the music teacher...

The sages have been down this road before, we need to stand together and hold the line...
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Post by JazzGeek » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:11 pm

Problem is: district yahoos would rather cut a music program than one of their jobs or a pay cut. It's a "let's screw the kids out of their arts programs but not our wallets"---syndrome, a sad state of affairs that continues to get worse as the years go by...... :evil:

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Post by fieldshowqueen » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:28 pm

JazzGeek wrote:Problem is: district yahoos would rather cut a music program than one of their jobs or a pay cut. It's a "let's screw the kids out of their arts programs but not our wallets"---syndrome, a sad state of affairs that continues to get worse as the years go by...... :evil:
I feel a need to answer this ... so which job would YOU cut at district level? Many district jobs are mandated by the state or federal government and cannot be cut (i.e. 1 ELL coordinator per school plus a district "supervisor") and some are just necessary to keep the schools running (i.e., facilities maintenance). Pay cuts or raises for about 95% of district employees are negotiated through 2 Unions (Educators Association and Certificated Employees) and breaking those contracts take an act of God.

And believe me when I say the School Board members lose sleep and think long and hard about how to cut anything, but if the money isn't there and they HAVE to have certain programs in place because the State and Feds say so, then they will borrow from emergency funds (also mandated by State law) or the first thing to go will be the programs that are not mandated curriculum. Unfortunately this typically means R.O.P. funding, non-sanctioned or "minor" team sports transportation, part-time "filler" positions, and outside district hired coaching and instructor positions (which affects most competition band/music programs). And Sean is correct ... music is typically funded by boosters if the band is competing.
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Post by Jsaxm » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:39 pm

But the problem comes in when there isn't enough people in the band to hold the class size ration the district has to keep. If we were to really break it down I would say that there are probably more little bands in So Cal than big bands. This means that if your site/district is staffed at 34 to 1, like we are in Brea, and you don't have an average of 34 to 1 during your entire day between all your classes then they are technically offering more sections than they should based off of numbers. It is all about the bottom line.

I think that more of the little programs are going to be destroyed because of the budget cuts than bigger programs. In the bigger groups they have the numbers to justify their positions. Obviously there are exceptions, but I think we can all mostly agree to some point on the statement I just made.

Now, I do know some cut backs that are being made to some bigger programs, but these cuts are affecting the assistant directors, and maybe changing of FTE for some assignments, and the classed that are going to be offered, but I haven't heard of any big pograms losing their entire subject area, that would just not make any sense. Who knows, maybe this is happening somewhere, but it just seems a bit ridicukous if it is.

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Post by JenKozy » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:47 pm

We have no elementary school music. Students start in the 6th grade, IF at all. Now, with the budget cut, middle school music teachers are on the chopping block. We are a little band, but I can guarentee that if we had elementary music, we would have more numbers and a better quality of players. We have 60+ kids in the band program... and a school population of 2400. Go figure.
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Post by gregsierra » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:58 pm

Fieldshowqueen,

(With all due respect) I appreciate your naiveté, but any of us in the trenches could name many areas in our districts to save money. The model of California’s public education is not a model of efficiency or effective spending of our tax dollars...and it’s not all their fault. Most district administrators were originally teachers and I venture to say, many were not the best at their craft. They are now in charge of the largest business in their town and they may not have the foundation to do the job other than some masters/doctorate degree in their academic field or in the theoretical analysis of the business end of a multimillion dollar enterprise. It is said that the ‘business of business is business’ but in education, it’s a game of pin the tail on the donkey.

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Post by tooweird » Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:22 pm

JenKozy wrote:We have no elementary school music. Students start in the 6th grade, IF at all. Now, with the budget cut, middle school music teachers are on the chopping block. We are a little band, but I can guarentee that if we had elementary music, we would have more numbers and a better quality of players. We have 60+ kids in the band program... and a school population of 2400. Go figure.
wow that's not a good ratio at all! holy crap... :!:
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Post by fieldshowqueen » Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:28 pm

gregsierra wrote:Fieldshowqueen,
(With all due respect) I appreciate your naiveté, but any of us in the trenches could name many areas in our districts to save money. The model of California’s public education is not a model of efficiency or effective spending of our tax dollars...and it’s not all their fault. Most district administrators were originally teachers and I venture to say, many were not the best at their craft. They are now in charge of the largest business in their town and they may not have the foundation to do the job other than some masters/doctorate degree in their academic field or in the theoretical analysis of the business end of a multimillion dollar enterprise. It is said that the ‘business of business is business’ but in education, it’s a game of pin the tail on the donkey.
Well thank you Greg. I can assure you I am NOT naive nor do I have a degree in education. I own my own business with my husband and we are very, very familiar with multi-million dollar large corporation budgeting and contract negotiations.

I feel honored actually that you have only posted once and that was to call me naive. At least I got your attention. Would you happen to have any brilliant ideas "from the trenches" as to how to solve the problem? You say you can name several then do so. I truly am all ears if there is more than just criticism offered on how those working in administrative positions are not qualified to your standards.
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Post by gregsierra » Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:11 pm

Fieldshowqueen,

My point is that you are, according to your self-stated qualifications, are more qualified to run a school district than many of the ex-coaches that are running them now. Who can we lose and not feel the effect?:

...how about anyone that is making more than $150,000 a year. If they are making that much that they would make the most impact on cost savings.

...how about anyone that has curriculum in their title...why do we need people working on future curriculum if there may not be a future.

...how about anyone that hasn't spoken to a person younger than 18 in the past 20 years....

...how about anyone with a district car to drive home in.

...how about an administrator that misses more than one day a month because he is too busy working on his next degree so he can land that next job.

Face it, there is more waste in most districts than the pittance that the music teachers are paid.

You are fortunate enough to have worked with a program with a good administrator...your ex-principal was a good man and supported your program well. If you want to cut the fat, go were the fat people are...the district office.

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Re: Music programs...gone?

Post by FluteOfTheNewWorld » Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:55 pm

The Duel wrote:Those budget cuts MIGHT be the end of the music programs!
That is a MAJOR reason (if not THE reason) that I'm not a music education major.
Soldiering On!

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Post by JazzGeek » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:11 pm

here, here....seems like I struck a nerve! :twisted:
Management will never admit that their job is not needed or can be cut; they always find something to justify their paychecks.
I've seen one case where an elementary school music teacher retires and is not replaced---instant budget cut. Problem is, the real suffering will trickle to the middle school and high school programs that no longer have the luxury of having advanced kids feed their programs. Diminishing numbers means diminishing returns to district bean counters, who are only interested in the 3 r's: reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic.....
And you can spout all the numbers and statistics about how well kids do in school who are involved in the arts and music, district doesn't care. To them, arts education is a luxury.....

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Post by senza cervello » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:13 am

Unfortunately, the arts ARE considered a luxury in schools. In a society based off of statistics (U.S. News Report), the arts are NOT factored into the rankings. This leads to most schools focusing on the same usual things... I seem to remember a time that different schools were really good at certain subjects (my school was once well known for animation) and people travel to the schools just to take the classes. Now, the schools are focused on the AP/IB curriculum, which isn't bad, but now every school carries the title, even though they don't accomplish this at the same level as some other ones. Because most schools attempt to have everything, it's really hard to do any one thing extremely well. Also, the funds become divided among several areas and that forces such difficult decisions of budget cuts.
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