It is important to note that there has been no official communication to parents about the cuts to the Mill Creek music program for the 2017-2018 school year. Not one.
We all know that music is an important part of a well-rounded education. We all know that Kent School District is facing budget problems. It might make sense that during a budget shortfall, some programs need to be cut. At Mill Creek, for example, the band director position is being cut from 1.0 FTE to 0.4 FTE. Great! A savings on the bottom line! And that is what we are parents have been lead to believe, but in fact, as Dr. Watts indicated, the “hiring freeze strategies do not cut staff positions and currently there is no planned reduction in force” . So where is that extra FTE going and why? Is it going into classes that move students through the system with artificially inflated grades so they can graduate on time despite not being ready?
Parents are being told that the cuts are being made because of lack of enrollment, but as any music parent in KSD can tell you, getting a child into a music class is an effort in futility. Schools throw up roadblocks at every turn. Our own experience with our child has been beyond frustrating, including being told by the school that our student had to select three electives and the first choice would be honored, then finding out it wasn’t. Then we were told repeatedly by staff that the band section was full, when it was not.
By all accounts, Kent School District has the student interest and capacity to support a robust music program. If administration was aware of enrollment issues, this should have been communicated to parents months ago, so that it could be corrected. Instead the decision was made without parental input. This is unacceptable. These cuts prevent our students from having a fair and equitable educational experience.
The full music program must be reinstated for the 2017-2018 school year.Take Action
Cite this article as:
Robert Allred, "KSD: It’s OUR District," in Robert P. Allred, PhD, June 27, 2017, http://doctorallred.com/2017/06/ksd-its-our-district/.
Allred, R.P. (June 27, 2017). KSD: It’s OUR District [Weblog post]. Robert P. Allred, PhD. Retrieved January 21, 2018 from http://doctorallred.com/2017/06/ksd-its-our-district/