DC Strings Workshop Calls for Increased Funding in Music Education For DC Public Schools

DC Strings Member Ray Pitts shares a moment with local elementary school children - sharing the joys of music and introducing them to the cello!

DC Strings Member Ray Pitts shares a moment with local elementary school children - sharing the joys of music and introducing them to the cello!

Throughout the months of March and April, DC Strings Workshop has met with members of the DC Council to discuss our priorities around music education for each public school student. It is our hope you will join our campaign and get involved.

Currently, funding for elementary band and string programs, is allocated to schools on a per-pupil basis. Our neighboring school districts in Fairfax, Montgomery county and surrounding jurisdictions make the investment of music educators, instructors and equipment in their music programs. The funding is set at $5 for elementary, $10 for middle school, and $15 for high school which is woefully inadequate to meet music instrument demand, instruction supports and supplemental workshops and masterclasses to equip our students toward mastery, not just exposure. We are calling on the Council to make the investment and double the music allocation per pupil to ten-dollars ($10) for elementary school, twenty ($20) dollars for middle school, and thirty ($30) dollars for high school. We also encourage DCPS to add a fifteen ($15) dollar allocation for instrument repair and maintenance and ($10) for field-trips and music-related activities off-campus.  

Our final recommendation would be to have the music office of DCPS administer a music instrument fund ($300,000 @ $30,000 for up to 10 schools annually + $15,000 instrument repair) as a pilot program. The $315,000 music instrumental fund is a solid way to add more schools and support schools that need new instruments beyond current supply funds in the DCPS staffing formula. DC Strings Workshop regularly hears from school music teachers on the Hill that they do not have enough money from DCPS for instruments and/or instruction needs. 

DC Strings Workshop Board Chairman: Q. Bernard Driskell Testifies before the DC Council

DC Strings Workshop Board Chairman:
Q. Bernard Driskell Testifies before the DC Council

DC Strings Orchestra Member Peter Clamp Testifies before the DC Council

DC Strings Orchestra Member Peter Clamp Testifies before the DC Council