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. This is the best communication I’ve seen so far on this subject. As Erika points out, a 25% reduction in budget is a huge thing to deal with for the school district and those most impacted – the students. I would venture a guess that the best way to achieve this 25% reduction in the best interests of the students would be to try to tease out about 20% from administration overhead costs and try to keep cuts in the student – teacher interface to 5% or less. Also, any cuts to teaching of the fine arts should be equaled in cuts to teaching of physical education type activities. A final thought is that both fine arts and physical education teaching can have a huge affect on many students’ career goals based on what our current society places the most value on.

  2. Follow the money and audit the state lottery for the past 10 years. Where is the money? It claims to be used for education … prove it!

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