Dr. Vericker: English 211
School Budget Cuts Do More Harm Than Good
Due to the financial crisis there have been many changes made to government programs to reduce costs and help with debt. Many of these cuts are happening statewide, in America’s public schools. The first programs that are being cut are the art programs, and the excuse is that the core classes are more important. The argument is that children need to be more focused on test scores in Math, Science, English and History. It is unfair to single out art classes, there should be a more even spread of budget cuts, not just the sole elimination of the arts. There are parents who are indifferent with the arts and they are unfazed by their removal from elementary public schools. What many of these parents do not recognize is that there are actually benefits of the arts that help with core subjects. Some benefits are strengthening problem solving skills, stimulating critical thinking and helping developmental growth. There is also a duel component that shows that there is a direct correlation between SAT test scores and art programs in schools, as well as higher participation and attendance. It has also been shown that the arts can help boost the economy.
The most astonishing case of budget cuts is occuring in Boston where Thomas (2011) says, “the cuts are a part of a $171 million package that calls for eliminating the equivalent of 33.6 full time positions.”(p.1) These cuts amount to cutting out: 3rd grade recorder classes, 4th grade chorus classes, while changing the art classes from 60 minutes to 45 minutes. (Thomas, 2011, p.1) According to the Assistant Superintendent Joe Russo, this was “the only time all our students were exposed to a musical instrument, and some of them even learn to read music.”(Thomas, 2011,p.1) Patton (2011) brings to attention that this decline in art education in public schools has been happening for over a generation, (p.1)...