Letter to the editor: Save our Edmonds School District Music Programs


Edmonds School District is proposing a 25% reduction in budget for the 2023-2024 school year which will remove many music and arts programs from our schools. Our students are still struggling to make a come-back to pre-COVID academic performance levels and removing any instructional support from these students would be detrimental.

My daughter has dyslexia and since joining the high school symphonic band, her English grades have improved dramatically, as has her enjoyment of school overall. There are those who see the arts as a “nice-to-have” vs. core part of the public education system. I am from a family of educators and administrators, and I can tell you firsthand that these programs have a significant impact on retaining student interest and even increase proficiency across many other “core curriculum” areas.

Budgeting is not an easy task, and balancing the needs across a variety of district responsibilities is challenging. However, we should never be taking funding away from the student’s direct educational instruction. Every dollar should be prioritized for its impact on their learning, vs. operational and administrative resource costs.

I would encourage the school board to be more transparent with their budget so that the community of parents and students who contribute to that fund can help with prioritization and recommendations where appropriate.

Enrollment continues to increase in our schools for music and art classes. We do not want to see these valuable educational resources taken away from our children at this critical time.

Many thanks,

Erika Barnett
Parent, Edmonds Business owner, chair of Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Board

  1. Budget cuts should start at the top of the Ivory Tower Administrators whose compensation is grossly inflated. They have carved out a niche without any standards of performance. School districts have fostered an unaccountable pecking order of money and power with a hidden agenda based on ideological prejudice. This while reading and math scores have plummeted. The culture of corruption is inside the heads of the people within the organization causing them to make poor strategic decisions by creating and supporting systems that encourage blame, indecision and blind conformity, and that have everyone treating rules as more important than ideas and that stop the organization from THINKING.

    1. Everytime there is a “shortfall” of money music, sports and special needs programs are cut. It’s a dog whistle for more tax dollars. How about cutting DEI directors, eliminate more administration positions, cut federal/state rules and regulations to free up staff from compliance quagmire, focus back on the student with improvements in reading, writing, arithmetic and STEM and be open with parents instead of dismissing our concerns and going your own way thinking you know better than us.
      Taxpayers are done shelling out money for schools that don’t work. Sadly music, sports and special needs children will be the body armor for district administrators use to gain hostage-level funding.

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