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School district needs to react to the facts
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A couple of months ago, the Monroe school district administration recommended the elimination of the fourth band instructor (which had been funded by a private group called CHIME). They cited the decreasing band enrollment projections and the additional cost of funding the position as the major factors.

The district administration had forecast a large drop in band enrollment next year which would allow three instructors to teach students at a better student-to-instructor ratio than most Badger Conference schools (this is a very valid argument if it were true). Most band supporters were skeptical of the forecast, and we now see that the band enrollment actually has increased from last year. A fourth instructor now is required to stay within their Badger Conference average guideline.

The monetary funds for the fourth band instructor are being provided by two of the patriarchs of the band program, Tom Schilt and Randy Sievert. On March 30 (after the recommendation to eliminate the band instructor), our two senior band directors announced their retirement effective the end of this school year. The funds saved by hiring two less experienced instructors will allow the district to pay for four instructors over the next few years for a lower cost than the three this year.

The final topic I would like to address is the board's statement that there was "a lot of support to drop the position." Phone calls based off inaccurate projections do not mean people will not support programs funded at a reasonable level.

The board set an open discussion on the topic Monday, May 11. A large amount of people attended the meeting, with many speaking in support of the band program. NOBODY spoke against the hiring of the fourth instructor.

To summarize, we would like to see the district administration change its recommendation. The fact the actual enrollment is substantially higher than its forecast requires an additional instructor to fall within its quality guidelines. The issue regarding the monetary funds for the position is now being provided to us by the gracious retirements of Mr. Schilt and Mr. Sievert. Finally, I think we all witnessed Monday night that the community supports adding the fourth band position, not eliminating it.