In Wednesday’s (5/27) Winona Post (Minnesota), Cynthya Porter writes, “Orchestra [instruction] for the district’s fourth graders was preserved within the regular education setting this year, but Community Education officials presented a plan to offer it just in case it ends up on the chopping block again in the future. According to Community Education staffer Linda Jacobs, the district’s 60 or so fourth grade orchestra students could be served through an after school program that would run in two 16-week sessions through the school year. While orchestra instruction is currently free in schools, offered through Community Education it would carry an estimated cost of $122 to $167 per student, per session, an amount that would be paid by families instead of the district. … In April, school board members contemplated cutting $20,000 from the orchestra budget, the entire amount needed to run the fourth grade program. Orchestra teachers Cindy Johnson and Lori Carlson, as well as a parade of parents and students, implored the board to reconsider because of the importance of starting orchestra instruments early. The board opted to continue funding the program at its current level.”

Posted May 28, 2009