Bring music BACK to our elementary schools
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Music education is a critical part of our children's learning process.
Back in March of 2011, then Superintendent Brett Champion presented his case to the Leander ISD Board of Trustees to offset a projected $29M shortfall. The proposal including cutting new teacher positions and cutting the music teacher at our elementary schools. In 2014, these cuts were made and today our K - 5 students are left without a music curriculum, per se. The music and theater arts curriculum was combined and is now taught by one teacher with much, much less frequency at each of the 26 current elementary schools, within the district. Our theater arts teachers are fantastic. But, we need a dedicated music teacher everyday if we are to make progress and continue winning UIL competitions, (In 2016, Leander ISD swept the State UIL band competitions).
Why does music matter to us and to our kids?
Number one, there is mountains of research that suggests music education is a factor in our children's ability to learn. There is evidence that music students consistently score higher on the SAT test, they are more confident in themselves, they have a greater understanding of empathy, emotion and expression. You may google "the benefits of music study" and you will see what we are referring to. It is our obligation to teach and share music with our kids, not a choice.
What needs to happen?
Leander ISD Superintendent and board of trustees must make amends to the current budgets and plan for reinstating music education in our elementary schools. As tax payers, we must demand that our community is properly educated on the impact of music in our culture. We understand that music impacts our lives from the womb and through every day of our life.
What if we don't make the change?
As students affected in elementary school by these cuts go into middle school, we will see a profound decrease in their ability to perform simple fundamental music processes. Our band directors are going to experience more challenges. This environment could further degrade our schools' ability to recruit and retain high quality music teachers. There will likely be a direct correlation to lower student test scores which could ultimately put the ISD's funding at risk. The "snowball effect" is unpredictable. The outcome from a lack of music education is predictable. It's a negative. We want positive. Don't you?
As a parent of Leander ISD students, we are now looking into charter schools to fill the gap left in music education. If we decide to move our own kids out of the Leander schools, it will also impact funding to these schools. That is not something that we want to happen. However, we will always put our kids first, every time without exception.
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