Why give arts funding such high priority?
January 18, 2013 12:18 AM | 995 views | 2 2 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Congratulations to Lassiter High School on the addition of their new performing arts center that is very impressive. However, this gives me a sense of frustration on several levels. On one level I am disappointed with the use of $14.9 million of SPLOST money to fund the addition in a time of economic stress.

On another level I see a disproportionate preference to fund the arts over science and technology.

As a mentor to a middle school group working on the future cities competition I have an opportunity to observe what our schools are doing in the technological area and see that the arts consistently get a higher priority even though our industry leaders constantly talk about the lack of engineering and science training for recent graduates.

The technology teacher I am mentoring is struggling with over 30 students per class due to reduced funds. I have to wonder why the $14.9 million couldn’t be used to get smaller class sizes that will allow our teachers to be more effective or wonder what could have been accomplished if used to fund improved classrooms and equipment for the science and technology areas.

Supporting the arts is certainly important, but let’s keep it in perspective.

Ed Steudel

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January 18, 2013
Can't use SPLOST to pay salaries, sorry
January 18, 2013
Absolutely agree with this writer. I'm big on performing arts, but also wonder how and why certain schools are picked to win the SPLOST jackpot while other schools are left hanging. Perhaps David Banks and former Lassiter principal/ex-superintendent had some quid pro quo on this? Just seems extreme, as the writer says, that when the county is economically so tight, failing actually (when you consider the repeating budget shortfalls)we are building these shrines. What ever happened to the school chorus, trying out for a play or musical and performing at a modest school theater? We either have feast or famine when it comes to performing arts facilities in Cobb schools.
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