I would like to respond to the the letter of April 4 about the cutting of the band and athletic budgets. I have been a member of the FHS Band Boosters for the last three years with one more year to go.
I do agree with what are the Board of Education priorities. The way I see it they have a tough decision to make on where cuts are since there have been cuts in the state of N.C. as a whole. I can not speak about the athletics’ budget but I do have knowledge of the band’s budget from the BOE. The band’s budget covered by the BOE is the salary of the director/ teacher. Not only does he teach band but he also teaches drama.
The band is self supporting. The students that are involved in the marching band program have to pay a registration fee each year that helps cover the band’s expenses. What that fee doesn't cover is the responsibility of the Band Booster Club. We schedule fundraisers and go in the community asking for donations and sponsors for the band program. We have held Pancake Breakfasts at Fatz, car washes, bake sales, pasta sales and then there is always the annual band fruit sale. The boosters put in many hours to help raise the money to cover the expenses involved with our kids’ musical experience. Also on the big trips like the Gator bowl trip the students have an additional fee to pay to be able to go and participate in a once in a lifetime experience. It has been shown in studies that children that are involved in music education actually do much better than other students in their other studies.
If you have never had a child that has been involved in the marching band you don't realize what it takes to run this program. The cost of the music rights, staff to help teach them the moves and music for the shows and the long hours that these students and staff put in the two weeks before school starts to create a show for all to enjoy. I was in band when I was in high school many years ago and the school provided everything but today it is a different story. The BOE does provide activity buses with a tank of gas to go to competitions to represent our school proudly. It is a great feeling as a parent to watch your child and the rest of the students put on the amazing show that they have to memorize the moves and music and put an entertaining show on the field for all to enjoy. It is also a thrill to see them compete against other bands and come out on top. These kids learn a lot in this program like disicpline, leadership and most of the togetherness of being a family .... yes, all the members of the band is an extended family.
So as you can see there is no budget from the BOE for the band and so you cannot take away something that isn't there unless you do away with another teacher job which I don't think that is what you were referring to. We invite you and all of the people in the community to come out to our next fundraiser which is May 11 at Fatz and enjoy some pancakes and help our band program continue to provide an excellent experience for our students. I know I am very proud of our marching band and concert bands. They are made up of the intelligent and talented young men and women and also have a director and staff that really cares about this program and the students in it. So I hope to see many people from the community at our next fundraiser. Come out and support the Franklin High School Band it is well worth it.
Jean Cromwell, FHS band booster