The Support Music Coalition, led by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the National Association for Music Merchants (NAMM), reacted quickly when the Lansing, Michigan School Board voted to cut music, art and physical education elementary teaching positions from the 2013-14 budget. The district wants to replace the teaching positions with “consultants.”
On March 29, SupportMusic.com issued a strongly worded statement that says in part:
“On behalf of the SupportMusic Coalition, we, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), strongly advise the Lansing School Board and Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul to carefully review the concerns of the greater Michigan arts education community regarding the recent decision to cut music, art and physical education elementary teaching positions from next year’s budget.
“Put simply, this is the removal of highly qualified, certified educators in favor of contract teachers who will operate under the guise of arts integration. Those of us who work within this world know that arts learning as an integrated subject is just not the same as standards-based, sequential learning. We urge you to reconsider this decision.
“Such a decision would be, perhaps, understandable in light of the fiscal woes that currently beset many of our nation’s urban areas. It is, however, neither understandable nor defensible in terms of our collective responsibility to provide a full, balanced education to all of our children.”
Chris Woodside, NAfME assistant executive director, Center for Advocacy and Public Affairs, and Mary Luehrsen, executive of the NAMM Foundation, signed the letter.