Maury County Public Schools board members stressed the need for the school district to ensure all of its classrooms are fully-equipped for its students.
During the board’s December work session, it reviewed a $48,000 budget amendment to fund art supplies in the county’s schools.
The added funds, taken from the district’s fund balance, or more than $2 million in savings, will provide art classes across the district with supplies for the current academic year.
“We need to find a way that those are accounted for each year,” said David Moore, who represents District 5 on the board. “This board has said over again that when we start the new year, no child grows up and says I don’t have a textbook. I don’t want them to show up and not have the materials they need for the class. I think that is something that needs to be budgeted.”
The comments reflected a similar decision held last month when Moore and other members of the board expressed concern regarding the school district’s planning and acquisition of new textbooks.
“Why are we not budgeting this?” asked Chad Howell, who represents District 9 on the board. “I want to know if we are fully-funding this or throwing pennies at it. We need to holistically look at everything.”
Students enrolled at MCPS have a choice to pursue either music or visual art.
Mt. Pleasant Middle School of the Visual and Performing Arts serves as a campus dedicated to exposing students to the arts under the pretense that the arts also teach students important skills such as critical thinking and teamwork.
The campus is supported by additional funding provided by the Kids on Stage Foundation of Maury County. The program, with an annual budget of more than $200,000, supports the school district’s campuses in Mt. Pleasant.
With an estimated $4 million in funding since 1991, the middle school campus continues to be supported by the organization that provides instruments, music and the supplies needed to keep the students of the school actively engaged in arts education.
The district has about 13,000 students taught by a staff of 900 certified teachers and aided by 500 staff.
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