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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000653.txt from 1998/04

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: budget cutbacks
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 05:07:18 -0400

On Mon, 13 Apr 1998, Fred Jacobowitz wrote:
> Hey, wait just one minute there!!!!
> Lets put some things in perspective here: How much does the school spend
> on the team? 1) equipment and upkeep of the football field/stadium
> (including cleanup after home games!).
> 2) Insurance on the players who are often injured on the field.
> 3) Insurance for all the fans who come to sit in the stands.
> 4) Transportation fees to truck the team and its equipment all
> over the state every other week for a few months.
> It is a fact that if you add up all these costs, there is NO WAY
> that a sports team or program can justify its costs. Tickets and
> concessions don't even come close to paying the costs.

It isn't just the cost Fred (unfortunately) - it is the expectation by
people in the paying parents.....who expect the football
team. Look at professional, imagine the parent who
envisions the glory for his kid. It is a fairly simple fantasy - and all
available. Of course they will pay for it - before music, it is an
American pastime!

> Now let's contrast the costs of a music program:
> 1) Instruments generally cost about as much as the football
> equipment.
> 2) No expensive medical insurance necessary.
> 3) No upkeep of an expensive athletic field and stadium.
> 4) Rare (usually) trips to band competitions.
> 5) Most of a band program takes place DURING SHOOL HOURS! No extra
> costs for custodians to keep the building and locker rooms open late. The
> only thing that usually happens after school is MARCHING practice, which
> can take place on the parking lot (no upkeep there), schoolyard or any
> lawn area (and doesn't tear up the grass, requiring expensive
> groundskeeping costs.

I'm not sure what you mean by the word "rare" with regard to band trips
and competetions. Every district I have worked for and most districts I
have seen go to as many competitions/trips etc. in the marching side as
the football team goes to away games. Beyond that, most marching
practices that extend beyond the school day take place at least twice a
week after school hours....this is a fact.

> Do the math, folks. Then present your findings to the bean counters on the
> schoolboard. And watch as the athletic program program backers squirm to
> try to justify their huge budgets.

They can do it because they have professional sports to use as a measuring
stick. What do we have? Professional orchestras that require grants and
ticket sales to stay in business? The bean counters won't have any
difficulty justifying the expense of the athletic programs. While there
are a few districts that would cut athletics first, they are far apart and
few between. These are facts....indisputable....and they are sad facts.

Roger Garrett

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