In my school district, music for k-8 is on the chopping block. Anyone have success stories of fighting school board and administration to keep music alive, and possibly innovative funding ideas to plug leaky school budgets?

Answers

KAREN TRINDLE, author of "What I Learned From My Music Students," K-8 Music Teacher

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A great way to show parental support of your music program is through a petition. You can easily make one at change.org and have parents and community members sign it online. If your state's core curriculum standards include music, it makes the fight to preserve your program easier. Also, although my position is not in jeopardy, I have no budget for instruments and materials. I use DonorsChoose.org to receive thousands of dollars of donations for instruments, field trips, special presentations, and miscellaneous music materials every year.

adam, Noodle employee; Used to present to school boards in Michigan on funding issues.

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This may not be a comprehensive battle plan, but a good way to make a case to the district is to organize---oftentimes groups of concerned parents will form Band Booster organizations (generally as 501(c)3 public charities that can give tax write-offs) to coordinate general fundraising, and appeals to the school board around funding decisions. If you have enough people and show up at enough meetings, it becomes much harder to make deep cuts. Districts where the Booster organizations are particularly strong often find themselves with influence in school board elections, too.

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