Friday, April 11, 2008

Orchestra and band under threat!

Through a combination of bait-and-switch by the state legislature and, who knows, some bad days at the track, our school district is contemplating cutting music. Talk about a sure fire way to lower our NCLB test scores!!!

Talk to your legislators, as that is the real source of the problem: uncertain and cheap funding of schools by our tax-cutting state religion as practiced by the State Legislature. Who pays for the free ride with no corporate or income tax, and minimal taxes on other things in South Dakota?

Our kids, of course.

This note from a RCAS parent came by email today:
Our elementary band and orchestra programs are on the cut list again. I feel I am in someways crying "wolf" but I think they mean business this time as they have not given music supporters any time to organize. I am forwarding information about a public meeting to be held at the Central HS Theatre at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15th that is with the board of education. They will be presenting information about cuts for next year. We need everybody there to express their support of these fine programs. If we lose our feeder programs, we will lose our upper level orchestras and bands within 4 years.

Please come and show your support. The school board is making their final decisions on Thursday, April 17th at another board meeting which may not be open to the public. Thank you so much for your help.

Special Meeting Notice

Tuesday, April 15. 3:30 p.m.
Central High School Theater

A special meeting will be held by the Rapid City Board of Education to discuss the 2008-2009 school year budget. The meeting will be a review and discussion on necessary budget recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year.
The public and district staff are welcome to attend.

RCAS Board of Education

More information:

RC Weekly News:Rapid City Journal:


  1. Please, if you can come to this meeting, do so and show your support for Music Education in our Elementary Schools. Music should be as fundamental as Math, English, Writing, Science, and Social Studies. I find it interesting that there has been no mention of cuts in the sports programs, but an entire program as important as this is on the cut list. (Don't get me wrong, I was in sports during my school years too, and see it as a very important element as well, but if there are to be cuts, they should not start with Music Education, and if they do, there should be equal cuts from other areas such as sports.)

    Our community is richer because of our Music Program, and if you don't believe that, come to the Symphony Concert this Saturday night at 7:30 and see how many of the musicians are in High School. Our community benefits, and our children do as well.

  2. Anonymous01:00

    Actually, elementary sports were already cut many years ago. The existing programs are all operated by volunteers after school. Why not music? How many people do you know who could volunteer to coach a kids football or basketball team? How many people do you know who could volunteer to conduct an orchestra or band? Orchestra and Band can not survive outside of the school day. It takes a highly trained teacher to make elementary music work and there are not many of them. It would be impossible to organize an "after school music program" like seen in the sports arena.

    The most effective thing you could do as a parent would be to let school board members know if you would consider moving your child to a private school in the event the public school's elementary program is eliminated. Each one of your children represent $4500 to the district. There are 729 students in elementary music. If only 34 (less than 5%) move to private elementary schools, most of which have quality instrumental music programs, all the proposed savings ($160,000) will be gone. Let them know..."if music goes, so does my kid, and so does your $4,500!"