Schools need music classes or other art classes and they should not be cut.
Debate Rounds (5)
2. Without music programs children in districts that are low income may never be introduced to music, or art. If music and art was cut from a school in a very affluent community learning an instrument might still be accessible to those students because their parents could afford private lessons and they could also afford art supplies for their children to use at home, but in poorer communities children want to go to school, they might not experience certain things if they didn't go to school because their guardians might not be able to afford to take them places, or buy them crayons. School and especially these music and art classes are a students escape from academic pressures, from problems they may face at home and they just offer a fun yet educational break for students.
Music and art programs have some of the highest cost per pupils, which strains the budgets of school districts. Not only are there significant financial costs, but these programs also distract school districts from offering courses that are necessary for national economic advancement and self-sufficiency such as the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology classes. School districts also have the opportunity to offer art and music programs through private/public partnerships or through after-school and extracurricular activities Therefore, schools should have the option to fully or partially cut funding for music and art programs that are currently part of a school’s curriculum.
It is apparent that, as some school districts face financial insolvency, music and art programs are the first to be defunded or cut back from existing budgets. These programs are typically resource intensive as they require not only teacher salaries, but incur significant facility, equipment, and travel costs. For example, instrumental music programs require the purchase of instruments such as pianos, drums, woodwinds, brass, and string instruments. Instrumental curricula, like this, requires the storage of these instruments, the purchase of sheet music, and a facility that will prevent significant disturbance to other academic courses such as history, literature, or algebra.
In 1996, analyst David Monk determined that courses in foreign language, music, and scientific instruction incurred the highest per-pupil expenditures among six different New York high schools. This excluded special education funding. Music and art education programs have had some of the lowest enrollments in their classes, thus increasing the cost of per-pupil expenditures on these programs. The largest share of school district expense is teacher compensation, which includes ever-increasing salaries and rising health care costs that are placing crippling burdens on the budgets of school districts. Thus, these programs place a large burden on school budgets.
Elective courses such as music and art also have an impact on the ability of schools to offer critical courses that will directly affect earnings outcomes for students such as classes in technology and computer science, natural and health sciences, engineering, and mathematics. According to an investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Science Education and Research, the United States economy is in volatile flux and continues to shift to an economy with an increasing reliance on technological innovation and proficiency, information management, and service. Thus, the need to be technologically proficient will be a universal economic need of all high school graduates. Students, as a result, will need more instructional hours in these courses.
Furthermore, I do not contend that music and art programs lack any inherent value nor lack educational worth or benefit. Art and music programs, rather, can be achieved through various programs including partnerships with private non-profit music and art organizations or hiring after-school/extracurricular music instructors that do not place a heavy demand on salaries. A 1995 report from the U.S. Department of Education had shown that 98.7% of seniors from less affluent schools reported that extracurricular arts opportunities were available to them. It is very possible to make participation in arts programs viable with a combination of these strategies that place less stress on budgets and less stress on the academic curriculum.
In rebuttal to my opponent, the author for the position that schools should not cut funding suggests that doing so would deny students the ability to relieve academic pressure and relax and have fun. First, there are a number of activities and programs that may help students achieve the relief of academic pressure including dedicated lunch times and/or recess, which do not require the presence of music or art programs. Additionally, the relief of academic pressure is not as important of a factor that a school board should consider when it questions whether it should preserve the arts curriculum or not. As previously stated, the ability to substitute a program, the cost of a program, and the relative economic impact of a program should be prevailing factors in the consideration of its preservation or abandonment from the academic curriculum.
More specifically in schools with significant low-income populations, there has been significant evidence that private-public partnerships have worked with students who live in lower socio-economic circumstances. Additionally, lower-income communities would most want to manage costs to the school district while finding strategies to provide the greatest amount of access to music and arts programs. Often, low-income communities pay more property taxes than more affluent school districts, since school district expenditures are often uniform among various districts. This means that more residents must pay more taxes to maintain the basic level of functioning in the school district, which requires a larger portion of their income than wealthier school districts. Therefore, music and art programs may not be financially feasible for these neighborhoods.
"Not only are there significant financial costs, but these programs also distract school districts from offering courses that are necessary for national economic advancement and self-sufficiency such as the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology classes."
Con argues that music programs are significant financial costs but this is just a matter that differs from district to district. In some districts they spent less per pupil on core courses like math, reading, etc... but in others they actually spent more per pupil for these courses and less for non core courses or electives. On http://educationnext.org... in figure one they break down the costs for courses in a district. The break down shows that less money is spent on core courses but the electives are bundled into one cost. So for ALL electives it costs more per pupil not just music, or art, or one non core course separately. If the district were to break down those non core courses separately they may be less than some of the core courses.
Con also argues that science, mathematics, engineering and technology classes are for national economic advancement and self sufficiency. This may be true, these courses can be very good for younger students with the hopes to improve our economy in the future and they do teach skills that can be very useful in the future, but not all students are going to need these courses. Not every student grows up and goes to college to be an engineering major or a biology major, some students will sit through these math and science courses and never use those lessons or skills for the rest of their lives. I guess you could say the same for music and art, that most students wont continue with those courses, but at least music and art also introduce students to culture, which is something everyone could use a little bit of.
"These courses are typically resource intensive as they require not only teacher salaries, but incur significant facility, equipment, and travel costs"
Con argues that these music courses involve a lot of equipment that the district has to purchase. This once again is an argument that differs among district. I myself attended a district where most of the instruments were privately owned or rented by students, there were some donated instruments that the school owned for some students to borrow but most of the instruments were not purchased by the district, yet the program was still in jeopardy. Most of these programs fundraise to pay for the equipment, the money for the equipment comes directly from within the program or from business that are willing to donate. So some districts do not even pay for the equipment. What the district does pay for is the teacher salary, but in most districts there is only one maybe two teachers for these courses where there are more teachers for core courses like reading or math. Con adds on to his argument that there are "travel costs". What travel costs not all schools non core courses go on trips or go anywhere and if they do the district isn't paying for all of it, normally when students go on trips they pay for their ticket or for where ever they are going, I can't remember a trip I ever went on where the district paid for all of transportation and for the actual trip. Where are these students traveling? Music and art classes are like any other class, they don't have to leave the classroom.
"Art and music programs, rather can be achieved through various programs including partnerships with private non-private non-profit music and art organizations or hiring after school/extracurricular music instructors that do not place heavy demand on salaries"
Cons arguments are not in fully cutting music programs, this argument suggests that they keep the programs or make new ones that are after school, they aren't fully against my argument that music and art programs should not be cut. If schools are so strapped that they can not have a music program or art classes or in some cases even sports teams, how are they going to hire after school staff to run these programs. Yes the salary may be less for an after school staff member but if some schools can't afford some of these programs during the day or can't afford coaches for sports teams after school, how are they going to pay for these after school salaries. Even if the programs are moved to after school and the salaries for these teachers are less, there still needs to be certain equipment like crayons, paper, instruments etc... So this reason con gives does not solve the problem in his previous argument.
"Relief of academic pressure is not as important of a factor that a school board should consider when it questions whether it should preserve the arts curriculum or not."
Con makes a good point by saying that school boards should consider the cost, and relative economic impact of the program; but one thing he forgot to mention was that the board should consider the students. Why should they cut music and arts programs and keep other things. In a study it has been proven that music calms, relaxes and stimulates parts of the brain we don't normally use. The arts like music, acting, and art are all career paths and without them in the schools there may be less students introduced to it, and less opportunities for students that may want to go into that career path.
Music has been proven to increase test scores, mainly in math but also in reading. There is a connection between music and how we learn. In an analysis of US Department of education data on more than 25,000 high school students, researchers found that students who were highly involved in music programs throughout middle school and elementary school showed higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12; proving that those involved in music vs those who are not is more significant over time.
Not only in math did students who were in music programs succeed but also in other subjects like language. Both music and language are processed in the same part of the brain and they both share similar patterns and structure. Those students involved in music programs often times develop a greater language capacity.
Other studies also prove that student involves in music programs score higher on the SATs in both math and language.
Without music classes, or without even the option of a music class could possibly affect the success of some students. If students aren't introduced to music and the arts in earlier years because the programs are being cut then they may not be as successful other core courses.
jam20636 forfeited this round.
Katelyn6913 forfeited this round.
“In some districts they spent less per pupil on core courses like math, reading, etc... but in others they actually spent more per pupil for these courses and less for non core courses or electives.”
My opponent argues that there are some schools which have a higher per-pupil spending on core courses, suggesting that these courses carry more costs and could as easily be a candidate for budget-trimming. The principle of the claim of the pro side in using this evidence is that if a non-core course is cheaper than a core course then it should not be considered for cuts until core courses have. However, reading, writing, and mathematics are important and basic courses that every student needs. These courses are taught to every student, which means a school district will spend more money on these courses so that there are enough classes taught in these subjects. Not every student needs, or is required, to acquire musical and artistic skills to perform and function in the workplace; therefore, it is harder to justify that these are essential courses that a school district must spend money on.
“Con also argues that science, mathematics…they do teach skills that can be very useful in the future, but not all students are going to need these courses.“
The pro side writes, “but not all students are going to need these courses.” I disagree. Students are not going to need all (science, mathematics, engineering, and technology) courses. Our national economy has grown profusely around exponential improvements in technology, the expanding utility of information, and the need for more technologically proficient workers.
Employers today require that students today have some proficiency in technology. Even basic skills such as performing mail merges, advanced data analysis in spreadsheets, and database management are minimal skills that require technical proficiency among any professional or technical field, including that of the life of an average music teacher. According to a recent Educational Testing Service survey, 61% of opinion leaders and 40% of the general public identified skills in math, technology, and science as the most important ingredients in the nation’s strategy to compete in the global economy.
According to a report issued by the Labor Department, many students never make it into the STEM pipeline, because of inadequate preparation in math and science or poor teacher quality in their K-12 systems. Thus, every student will need these courses, which makes it imperative that schools reconsider offering music and arts programs in exchange for more technologically and scientifically focused curricula.
“If schools are so strapped that they cannot have a music program or art classes or in some cases even sports teams, how are they going to hire after school staff to run these programs.”
The pro side asks, ‘“how are schools going to hire after school staff” if they are so “strapped” that they cannot have a music program or art classes?’ Since both myself and the pro side are engaging evidence from the same website (education next), I will begin there.
Pro refers to Figure 1. Let’s look at Figure 2. This figure suggests that non-core teachers, which would include music, art, gym, and foreign languages, are paid roughly $23,000 more in regards to median salary of elective non-core teachers versus core teachers. This was a $5,000 difference according to the average salary figure.
However, school districts make financial decisions, not schools. I further my argument that districts may consider cutting back music programs to after-school hours and hire part-time music educators. The median salary of a non-core teacher is $77,800. A district may decide to convert to a part-time position. Let’s say that this salary is $30,000. The school district just saved $47,800 on one teacher. Let’s assume that a small school district has 2 high schools, 3 middle schools, and 6 elementary schools. One music educator works in each institution. Given the figures above, the district would save over one-half million dollars.
This example does not factor in such things as itinerant teachers (who travel to more than one school), seniority of teachers, geography and cost of living, and inflation; however, it does illustrate that making even modest cuts in a school district can have a substantial impact on its budget.
Pro asserts that my argumentation is circular by establishing what it is I am trying to claim. Pro, for example, writes, “Yes the salary may be less for an after school staff member but if some schools can't afford some of these programs during the day or can't afford coaches for sports teams after school, how are they going to pay for these after school salaries. Even if the programs are moved to after school and the salaries for these teachers are less, there still needs to be certain equipment like crayons, paper, instruments. So this reason con gives does not solve the problem in his previous argument.”
First, the salary of a music educator may be less upon the relocation of a music program as an afterschool would be less. However, an institution has already budgeted a teacher’s salary; therefore, the relocation of an arts program to afterschool would also coincide with the reduction of a teacher’s salary--not the addition of an afterschool teacher’s salary. Secondly, in my previous argument I did not attribute any weight to costs associated with an arts program. I stated, “these programs are typically resource intensive as they require not only teacher salaries, but incur significant facility, equipment, and travel costs.”
To further clarify the second point, the most significant costs to an arts program is the teacher hired to teach the program and the capital costs involved in adding square footage to a building to ensure teaching space for music and art programs. My opponent above cited that equipment is needed to produce an arts program, which has a cost impact but not the most significant impact in my view. Pro previously provided evidence that fundraising can be accomplished to provide necessary equipment for these programs. Thus, the argument that after-school relocation of arts programs or private/public partnerships and their impact on reducing costs is still viable even given the considerations of my opponent.
“Con makes a good point by saying that school boards should consider the cost, and relative economic impact of the program; but one thing he forgot to mention was that the board should consider the students.”
Pro makes a good point that the well-being of students should not be thwarted when a school district makes choices about its own fiscal situation. Costs should only be one consideration. However, I contend that I have suggested that boards should consider students well-being by offering evidence above that science and technology programs will have a larger impact on the future success and fitness of students in the workforce than music and art programs.
“Music has been proven to increase test scores, mainly in math but also in reading. There is a connection between music and how we learn…proving that those involved in music vs those who are not is more significant over time.”
Pro continues to make the assertion that there is a connection between music and how we learn, and music and math. However, pro has yet to demonstrate that music has a causative relationship to academic performance or the improvement of intelligence. Pro’s evidence from the U.S. Department of Education states that it has determined that students who were “highly involved in music programs...showed higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12.” However, that does not mean that being involved in music causes students to increase in mathematics proficiency. It only proves a relationship.
PLEASE SEE REST OF ARGUMENT IN COMMENTS SECTION.
Katelyn6913 forfeited this round.
I think this ends the debate.
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