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I am a Portland Public School parent and a music educator. At my son's school, Jackson Middle School, the award winning choir program is being cut to half time (slated even before the drastic cuts announced in our State this week). Our community fully supports the arts - we are a Bernstein Artful Learning school which is a philosophy that the arts should be used to teach all subjects. Our teachers are trained and gifted at doing just that. But the Bernstein program relies significantly on the elective arts (choir, band, drama, visual art, shop). This cut in choir threatens our school's ability to maintain not only the choir program, but the after school select ensemble (that continues to bring in National awards) and our spring musical. This is not just a threat to our choir but a threat to all of our arts. Parents have been scrambling in our community and have launched a fundraising campaign to protect the Arts at Jackson and restore the choir program, called "The Beat is On!" We must raise $22,000 to buy back a quarter of the cut. (Fully funding =$45,000), and we are on well on our way. Arts advocacy is so important but the real problem is State funding. We must demand that our State adequately fund education.
posted 2 years, 11 months ago
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