I have recently become aware of the proposed cuts and staffing changes to the district's budget for the 2013-14 school year, and as a parent of two performing band and chorus students at IHGMS, I am disgusted. Every year when budget time rolls around, it is the arts that are placed squarely on the chopping block, while youth athletics are returned to their pedestal.
Our music program through all three schools should be a star in our district's crown - every year our students are welcomed into a family of musicians, where they learn a different kind of teamwork that is not limited by their financial situation or physical abilities. Our performing students are an outstanding example of everything that works in our district. Raymond's music educators don't merely teach scales and musical history, but provide much-needed guidance in problem-solving, teamwork, flexibility and acceptance. With bullying concerns at an all-time high throughout our schools, the support and guidance that our musical educators provide is invaluable. The music program provides a way to be part of cooperative group working towards a worthwhile goal. A goal that, in my opinion, should be every bit as valued as making a touchdown or scoring the winning basket with 3 seconds on the clock.
It would be a disgrace to remove what limited opportunities our students who aren't dreaming of a career in the NFL or the NBA have to shine. Everyone can make music, and should.
Support the arts - do not cripple our district's music program.
Thank you for considering my thoughts on the district's budget planning.