Sunday, September 28, 2008

Post #14--School Funds?--by Tsuki Bear

This article was inspired by a very heated discussion in Sociology the other day.

We hear it all the time. School funds. We hear about money going to the Science Department, the English Department, etc. But where does most of the school funds go? Sports. We hear about that one the most. "The basketball team needs money for new jerseys." "The soccer team needs money for this." Always the sports. And what department gets jipped from all this? Fine Arts. I'm talking about music, drama, photography, art. Those things.

Why is it that the sports get more funding then music? There are roughly the same amount of kids participating in both, and putting an equal amount of time into both. I can narrow it down to one things: popularity.

The people in sports are usually the popular kids, right? They're the ones who have friends who want to support them, parents who have money to give them for their sport. And the Fine Arts people? I'm not saying that they're losers, because they're not, and I'm in this category, but typically, they're the ones who don't care about popularity, and name brand stuff. I'm also not saying that that's what all sports people are concerned about, but its a general stereotype for an athlete.

The other part of popularity is the nation's focus on sports. Most of the kids who are in sports have parents who love that sport. Some of them are the ones you see at soccer games who yell at the referee because the shot was "not a foul". You know who I'm talking about. These parents contribute a lot of money to their child's sport.

The misunderstanding starts here. Discussing this in class, a soccer player (who will remain anonymous) said that the Fine Arts department "didn't need as much money as the sports teams. Everything they needed is paid for with their fees." THIS IS NOT TRUE.

We also have several extra fees to pay. The fees we pay at the beginning of the year? Speaking from experience, the money I paid for orchestra last year was for my orchestra "uniform", which was an ugly maroon and black dress coat that was three times too big for me at the smallest size. There were not enough coats to go around, so I had to share the coat with a band member (Tc, who is contributing to this blog) I was not the only one who had to share a coat, and swap it at the last minute while carrying an instrument and running on stage. To add to it, these coats have been "the orchestra/band uniform" for years. The coats smell, and they're itchy and scratchy. They don't fit more then half of the students they are loaned to for the night of the concert.

Several students rent their instrument from the school. "They pay for all their stuff with their fees," says the anonymous soccer player from earlier. Yes, this part is true. We do pay for them with our fees. But have you seen the rented instruments that are loaned to students? Like the uniforms, they've been around the school for years. They are worn out, dirty, scratched, and some have problems that need to be fixed that we end up paying for.

The football team gets money to go to the State Championships. What about the band/orchestra/choir getting money to go on tour in California? The school doesn't pay for that, or hardly even contribute to it. We do. Out of our own pockets. We earn the money to go. We pay for the bus fees, the food fees, the hotel, etc. EVERYTHING.

So, in conclusion to my brooding, and venting, let me just say to all those people out there who think the athletic department does not get enough money for their stuff. You guys get PLENTY. Do fundraisers, like we have to, to earn money to go to state. Get a job so you can pay for the jersey yourself. The Fine Arts needs some of the money that is going to you to get stuff that we are in dire need of.

--Tsuki Bear

PS If any of you are angered by this, please keep your comments TO YOURSELF


seniorqtip said...

I'm not angry but would also like to point out that most art supplies are gone with in a week, and thats with minimalizing the use of them as much as possible. Most sports equipment can last for a good year and MIGHT need replacing. I know this, I'm a softball player, and I've gone through my fair share of equipment. but more than anything art supplies and reeds!!

Riley McFreakingAwesome said...

Amen, amen, amen.

Georgie K. Buttons said...

I agree with this completely. My softball mitt, bat, and tennis racquet have lasted for seven years.

My batteries, memory cards, pencils, charcoals, chalks, erasers, paper, binders, strings, paints, brushes, and all the other stuff?

Ha. Depending on the item, I have to get new ones every few months. Batteries, however? They last about two days when I'm working on a serious photography shoot for my classes. Guess who pays for them? Me. They get expensive, and they're not covered by school fees.

Other things that aren't covered? Try science trips that are REQUIRED and cost a couple hundred dollars out of my own pocket. Some parents can pay for it. Mine can't. Try extra fees for the Woodshop projects, which cover the shipping of wood, nails, and machines. Not covered by school fees or funds. Oh, and then...

Yeah. I hear you.

Amber said...

Not only is the arts department not getting enough money, but science classes also lack funds for good equipment, field trips, etc. That's one reason why UCAS was started- for those that weren't into sports to get the best education they can with school funds that, for other schools, would go to sports.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you totally and completely. I have been very involved in the fine arts department in every one of the four schools that I have been too throughout my Junior hich and high school years, and they have NEVER had sufficient funds. It's very frustrating. Especially since this year is the big choir tour, and my family just doesn't have the money and neither do I. I don't get to go, because fo money.

Believe me. I hear you.