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Our View: School board made right, difficult choice
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Certainly, the Monroe school board's decision Monday to essentially eliminate a fourth band instructor position for the high school and middle school was not taken lightly. Board members do not sign on to cut positions or contract classroom offerings.

But they made the best decision possible Monday.

The district's administration, led by Superintendent Larry Brown, is tasked with determining how best to use the financial resources it has to benefit all of the schools' students. The administration determined that a fourth band instructor was not a priority over other expenditures. The board agreed with the administration's educated assessment. Certainly, the administrators didn't relish cutting a band position, either.

Actually, the district had decided three years ago to fund only three band positions. But a citizens group had stepped up to fund the fourth instructor through this school year.

Will the band program at the schools be stressed by the change? Undoubtedly. But Monroe still can have a very successful band program, as board members pointed out Monday, with three instructors. It will be up to the teachers, parents and students to make that happen.

It is counterproductive, and simply wrong, for people to say the administration and board have "ruined" or "destroyed" the band program. They have not. There remains two very capable instructors, and apparently a third was added Monday. Brian Bruggeman, who has a master's degree and experience - 13 years of it in Orangeville - was hired to fill the third instructor position. Bringing in an experienced instructor rather than someone fresh out of college is further evidence the district remains committed to maintaining a strong band program.

But the administration and the board also have myriad other academic and educational commitments to keep. We believe they've made the best decision possible to honor as many commitments possible with the resources they have.