Band Boosters want transportation help too
HEBRON – If the athletic boosters are receiving financial help, why not the band boosters, Lakewood band director Lauren Houck asked Lakewood School Board members during their Aug. 8 meeting.
At the July board meeting, President Judy White told Lakewood athletic director Bo Hanson that the district would provide $40,000 for the new school year to the cash-strapped athletic department to help finance transporting athletes to and from games.
“On behalf of the Lakewood band and band boosters, I respectfully request equal consideration,” Houck told board members.
“We’ve been paying for our own (student transportation) for two years,” said Houck. “We’re part of the curriculum.” She said performing is an important part of what the band does, and that requires transportation.
Houck said in a prepared statement that the Lakewood High School Band is an academic class where students receive 1 1/2 credits. She said the grades students receive in this class are partially earned through participating in after school performances. Until 2010, the district funded transportation for band classes, including marching, concert, and jazz bands. Since 2010, the band boosters are paying for travel. Houck said last year alone, from August 2011 to August 2012, band boosters spent $5,400 on band transportation.
Houck said the Lakewood Band Boosters fund nearly every aspect of the band program, grades 5-12. “While we recognize and appreciate that the board of education pays for two director and two auxiliary supplemental contracts, the $700 per year we receive for the purchase of music at Lakewood High School (reduced from $900), and $1,500 we receive for instrument repairs is a fraction of the actual cost of providing a quality music education for the 114 students in the high school band,” she said, adding that a high quality music education requires, at minimum, functional instruments, music supplies, and opportunities for performance.
Houck said the band boosters spend approximately $500 additional dollars per year on music for performance (textbooks), $4,000 additional dollars per year on instrument repairs (maintaining school property), and approximately $8,000 per year on replacement instrument purchases (classroom equipment). “Since I began teaching here in 2003, no new instruments have been purchased by the school district,” she said. “I know of no other graded, academic, high school class that funds so much of its operation on its own.
“As the band looks to raise nearly $90,000 to replace the marching band’s 23-year-old uniforms, the additional financial burden taken on by the Boosters to pay for transportation is quite significant,” said Houck. The extra cost of transportation negatively affects the quality of education students receive, she said, considering how much of the band’s classroom equipment and supplies already funded by the boosters. Board members asked Houck to send them a list of expenses.
“We’re not sure what’s going to happen,” said Houck Monday.
Board member Trish Good said Houck’s request would be considered at a future board meeting.
Board member Forrest Cooperrider agreed that hearing the request for board assistance, there’s been no formal discussion yet. “I suspect it will be discussed,” he said.