The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

The Arts should not be the first group of activities cut after budget cuts

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/15/2014 Category: Arts
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 844 times Debate No: 61747
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




When the board of schools realize they have come across budget cuts, their first idea is to cut the Arts. Whether they mean the music clubs AND classes, Drama/Theater, visual art, or all of the above. To school officials, sports never cross their minds.

Why not though? Sports cost hundreds of dollars a year in some places. In my high school, the more popular sports like football and cheerleading buy new uniforms every year. Most of the time it is not because they are old or no longer wearable, they just feel like changing the design! Yes, they do fundraise, but not enough to fund all of their needs. There is also the fact they have to rent places to practice if there is no room or proper equipment in the school, then pay any instructors that also help out. You also have to pay for transportation to away games and scrimmages since teams travel together. While supplies for visual arts can be bought in bulk. If it is an instrumental class, many students own their own instruments. So the school is not providing for every student as it would with an athletic activity.

Now, I do not believe the Arts should be saved and the Sports cut, or vise versa. Neither should have to be cut from funding completely. I stand by an opinion that the activity with more funding should have part of their money taken away to help with funding for elsewhere in the school, instead of all money being scarped away.


Your argument is very general and you start off by implying that sports funding should be cut before arts programs (later you change your view: "I do not believe the Arts should be saved and the sports cut, or vice versa"). I believe the end of your argument also too general where you say that the arts should not be cut completely before sports takes a cut. So, for a better argument I would like to restructure the original question to something that would have a more definitive view point: If budget cuts become necessary in a public school system, which of the following programs should have funding cut first: The Arts or Athletics?

It all boils down to a couple of key factors.

1. What percentage of the student body participates in these activities? e.g. if 10% are in the arts and 40% in sports (made up numbers) how will that effect the budget office's decision


2. How does each program benefit to a students education and well being?

According to a U.S. News and World Report study on the High School athletics in 2011, there are over 7.6 million high school athletes which is 55.5% of the total number of high school students. Even more stunning is the fact that sports participation has increased for the past 22 years (in 2011). A separate study in 2011 as well showed that only 38.9% of high school seniors participated in performing arts or school music programs. If 1000 dollars were to be cut from the athletic program it would affect over half of the students whereas if the cuts were made from the arts programs it would affect less than 4 in 10. This information shows clearly that cuts to athletics will hurt more students than cuts to the arts programs, but that is not enough a basis to substantiate cuts to the Arts. While I agree that the Arts are important, sports programs are crucial to many children's lives. For example, obesity is a major problem that is sweeping the nation and increased interest in athletics helps to keep kids fit and healthy. A more healthy America is crucial to the future of this nation. Sports also are one of the easiest ways to help many kids make good friends and learn valuable life lessons such as hard work, determination, and teamwork. Now, I'm not saying that kids can't learn life lessons and make friends in arts programs, but sports teams form an immediate brotherhood (or sisterhood) of close friends. Also you mentioned that many sports programs get new jerseys all the time even if there is no need. From personal experience where I live most if not all of our uniforms were purchased through fundraising if we wanted new ones. In sports like baseball, football, and wrestling uniforms are worn out very quickly. Most of the funding in sports goes towards upgrading facilities, training aids, or replacing equipment that is no longer safe. Upgrading facilities is beneficial to the whole community, especially for youth sports teams. For example, if funding is used to build a baseball batting cage, that will not only help the high school team for years to come, but also the hundreds of other youth sports teams who take advantage of it. You brought up the point about every student owning their own instruments. Do you think that it should be different? if the school bought instruments for all of the students it would cost a fortune and the students would not be able to take their instruments home to practice. If they did take it home to practice and it got broken, then who would pay for it? Then you also said a general statement : "The school is not providing for every student as it would with an athletic activity". Although you have no evidence to support that claim I wanted to address it because you are coming off as if the schools have it out for the arts programs and are saving the athletic programs. The truth of the matter is that both programs are important and sometimes budget cuts need to be made. When the time comes to decide what should be cut, it is the arts programs because they are less popular in schools and will hurt the overall student body more. It does not make any sense to cut the programs that help a majority of the student body.
Debate Round No. 1


You mention in the beginning of your argument that I started out saying sports should be cut first then at the end changing it to they should not be cut first, just looked at equally. I in fact never stated that sports should be cut, just thought about as much as the Arts, which are rarely even given a second chance. I would like to take a moment and speak from experience myself, as you had. A few years back my school district was planning on going under severe budget cuts due to a miscalculation in money. Not even a day after they mentioned the budget cuts they said all art programs would be taken away. This including the winter musical and marching band, which bring in more money than the winter sports taking place around that time. They also were discussing taking away most music and art classes, not just the after school activities. Now this would affect every student seeing as there are graduation requirements about taking two types of Arts. Thankfully problems were resolved and we got to keep everything in the school, except the music teachers lost all of their budget. Anything they bought came from their own pocket. Yet the sports were never looked at. Not even the teams such as golf or swim team that only had about five members each, if even that. You said the school would have to cater towards the activity which holds more students, therefore the Arts which take on around 500 students per year, as a minimum number, would beat the athletic teams that can barely get 5 members a season.

As a former athlete I understand the perks of participating a sport. Like you said; friends, discipline, hard work, which you said but also others such as professionalism and respect can also be taught through the Arts. You mentioned Obesity being a problem in the nation, which playing a sport can help solve by keeping kids active. That is the same reason gym classes are required in every grade. Now you can argue doing more outside of gym is more productive in helping the situation, but, a kid will be active if they want to. If they chose a sport, then yes that helps, but they will do something else to stay active if a sport is not an option for them.

As for a school who supplies instruments to students. Some students will own their own and will be responsible for anything that happens to them. If a student borrows one from the school they would be responsible for some repairs, such a strings. The school would take major repairs unless the student did something that could have been prevented. In that case the school and student's guardian would split the money or work something out. If each student who is borrowing does not share with another student, which they rarely do, they can indeed take it home to practice. Once the students graduate their instrument would go to the next incoming students. Even if the cost starts to run up, which is should not if everything is planned out carefully, then they can do a fundraiser for the extra money like sports. They should not have to fundraiser every cent though because their money was taken away without a second second spent on the idea.

Now as I closed my last argument, I think every activity should be looked at evenly. If you are going to cut a budget of about $1,000 during a year, split it. Each sports season, so 3, would take $250 each season and distributed among the sports evenly to see who loses what amount. The remaining $250 can then go to the Arts and distributed among them for how much they lose each. My main argument is the Arts should not be the first program cut in case of a shortened budget, but instead of every program and activity looked at and treated evenly and with the same respect.


anthonyb43 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I have to forfeit this round due to time. I believe I have said what I can for my point of view though.


anthonyb43 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Cpu502 2 years ago
An awesome debate topic- I totally and wholehartedly agree with you
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture