Teacher encouraging ‘yes’ vote for Shawnee

Dear Editor,

I have the privilege of teaching music to every student, Pre-K through 6th grade, in the Preble Shawnee district. I am blessed to work in a district where the families, teachers, administrators, board members, and community members are passionate about providing the best opportunities for our students. I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, I fear my job might be in jeopardy if our district is unable to pass the upcoming school levy in May. Allow me to explain.

Failing to pass the levy would require our district to use their carry-over fund to maintain the old buildings. Once this money is gone, it is inevitable that cuts will have to be made. Sadly, it is common for school districts encountering extreme budget constraints to cut non-core subjects, such as music, art, and theater. This is especially unfortunate, because research shows that a music education is crucial in helping to enhance students’ academic achievement, creativity, coordination, critical thinking skills, and self-confidence, among numerous other positives. Cutting music is simply detrimental to students’ learning needs.

While no one has told me my job is being cut or at risk for being cut, I believe we must act with a sense of urgency to ensure that such a scenario never even has to be considered in our district. More devastating than me losing my job would be robbing our wonderful students of their right to have a high-quality music education.

By voting for the levy on May 2, our residents can guarantee that opportunities such as music will remain for our students well into the future.

Cody McPherson