Schools across the nation are tightening their school budgets, making them cut certain programs. However, when these budget cuts come along, one of the first things that is cut is the music program to enable the school district to make room for "necessary" classes. But why cut the music program when it has been shown that music helps develop better social skills, leadership qualities, and improve academics? All over the country, school districts are facing tight budgets that are causing the districts to cut non-academic programs. These non-academic programs that are being cut are mainly the music programs in public schools across the nation. According to studies by the Gallup industry, "Budget cuts and shifting priorities have placed the music programs in more danger than ever. Already, up to 28 million American students do not receive an adequate music education, and cuts in education funding are either pending or have been enacted in more than half the states nationwide" (Salvestrini). School districts are looking at what subjects they consider to be "core subjects," and in most school districts the music program is not fitting their definition, which is why the music program is one of the first subjects to be cut. The school districts are looking to build more classrooms for science and math courses, as well as decrease class sizes. In order to do this without having to add on to the school building, the school districts look for what they find to be a beneficial class. Therefore, the music education program is an area where the school district can achieve their goals by cutting that program out. Studies have shown that the music education program is very beneficial to students. This is why schools across the nation should save the music, so the future students have the opportunity to be involved, improvement in the students' academics, students having more self-discipline, and the development of the students' social skills. Because of these benefits, organizations outside of the school are trying to save the music, such as, VH1 and supportmusic.com. These budget cuts are not only affecting the students of today, but they also have a huge effect on the future students who may not even have the option of participating in a music program. In one of the recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports, "only 25 percent of eighth graders nationwide had the opportunity to take a music class" (Music). Now these budget cuts are not allowing the school district to decide, but the voters have the say in what goes on in the school district by way of their tax money. Elizabeth Nesoff, an author for the Christian Science Monitor, wrote an article about the budget falling in the August 2003 edition. She goes into greater depth, than the article about music education by implying that, "A lack of cohesive community concern for education and a greater focus on individual interests as part of the problem, namely that people without children are not always interested in funding school programs. It's getting much more difficult to convince people that music
for some people is as important as tax relief for a lot of people"(Nesoff). Parents that have children in the music program should do what it takes to keep the program going, so that the future students can have the same opportunity. "Music education programs get cut because decent people are trying to make tough decisions in hard times. If people want ongoing music education in school, they have to let the policymakers know how much music education programs contribute to their kids every day of the school year" (Nesoff). These budget cuts have a big impact on the educational opportunities of the children of today and the children of tomorrow. "You can't cut music without cutting something important out of our kids' lives. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see that where there's no quality of education, there's probably not a music program"...
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