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HISD - Petition to Save Music and Art - Use "Rainy Day" Funds

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Current state funding projections will significantly impact HISD schools. Preliminary estimates indicate that Texas public education spending could be cut by roughly $4 billion. That amount of money pays the salaries of roughly 80,000 teachers. The first programs to be cut will be art and music which are essential in the development of all characteristics of learning in students. It is a fact that students involved in the arts are more successful in other academic areas such as math and science than students who do not participate in the arts. Please refer to MENC—The National Association for Music Education, Why Music Education? 2007 There is money available in the state's "rainy day" fund to offset some of the potential cuts. The rainy day fund exists for years such as this, when the state is in financial crisis. Some lawmakers, however, remain reluctant to spend the "rainy day" money. When the state pays less for public schools, that shifts more of the burden onto the backs of property owners, who are forced to pay higher property taxes. Local school districts, such as HISD, may have to increase their tax rates to make up the cut in funds from the state in order to preserve educational programs such as full-day prekindergarten. -Providing for education is in the Texas Constitution -An educated citizenry is the hallmark of a healthy democracy -An education is directly tied to a healthy economy --In Dec. 9.4% national unemployment. Broken down by education it was: 15.3% for HS dropouts, 9.8% for HS diploma, 8.1% some post-HS, and 4.8% B.A. plus. Budget cuts will effect all of our art and music programs. Students in HISD will no longer benefit from the incredible programs such as Chorus, Band, Orchestra, Music Production, Guitar, Art and Drama. This will most certainly lead to a higher dropout rate and lower test scores. We cannot let this happen to our children. Urge your state and federal legislators to use the "rainy day fund" while it is raining.

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