Why Must Schools Choose Between Larger Class Sizes or Unified Arts Programs?

I believe every school in our state should have technology, pe, art, music, library and talented and gifted programs. I know it costs lots of money. Our class sizes should not have to suffer because of these programs. Schools should not have to choose between class size and the arts. These programs are just as important as reading, math, social studies and science.

My daughter participated in Youth in Government, she wrote a bill called the Mandatory Unified Arts. I am proud to say, she won best Senate Bill that year. Just a shout out to Melissa Tracy at Conrad for running a fabulous program and Beth Blohm for chaperoning every year.

Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with me? Very interested to hear what folks have to say.

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11 thoughts on “Why Must Schools Choose Between Larger Class Sizes or Unified Arts Programs?

  1. Appo Mom

    I absolutely agree! It upsets me how little phys Ed. my kids had last year. They even did a written assignment and had to present a poster during gym class which meant no physical activity. During testing month, I believe they had one gym class. With the rise of childhood obesity why does Delware not mandate a certain amount of physical activity each week like some other states such as NY does? Some middle schools don’t offer recess and have cut sports as well. That’s a problem.

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      1. Kim Williams - State Representative 19th District Post author

        My kids all through elementary, middle and high school did something called a Fitness Gram. I believe it was through a grant. The state required this to be done. A report was suppose to be issued to the parents about their child’s fitness, the state was to provide the report. We only received one report from the state, that was it. We added another assessment and teachers and kids did their part but the state never followed up with a continuous report. In my opinion it was a waste of the students and teachers time. The teacher was required to test each child individually, on multiple items, which meant all students sat there and had to watch which meant no PE for a few days. In elementary school, most elementary students only receive PE once a week, so how is sitting on the floor watching kids being assessed and not exercising helping anyone?

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  2. Brian Stephan

    Yes to all. Schools and districts should not have to choose between core class size and arts & phys ed classes but they are forced to. Either take a state funded core teaching unit to pay for a arts/phys ed instructor, or pay for arts & phys Ed 100% out of local property tax funds and I think the latter would be impossible to any district in the state to do at this current time.

    The obvious fix would be to include the unified arts program instructor costs as additional (and dedicated) teaching units that are funded by the state. But where’s the state going to get the money to fund those units?

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    1. Kim Williams - State Representative 19th District Post author

      Where is the state going to get the money, that is a good question. If the state funded these programs, then our class sizes would be smaller. Right now, schools have to decide, do we want smaller class sizes or do we want unified arts. If the state automatically provided units for these positions, schools would not have to use their existing units and class sizes would automatically shrink.

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  3. Midtown

    I agree with you totally. Although I’m no athlete, in elementary and high school we always participated in gym and organized sports. Just down the street from me, at Freire Charter School, neighbors see through the windows the 8th and 9th grade students running around the perimeter of the all-purpose lunch room/exercise room. No gym teacher, no gym classes, just this — whatever they call it.

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  4. kavips

    I’ll bite. I tend to think investing in our schools to make them the finest at any expense would cause more companies to move to Delaware than an extra $3 million dollars a year less tax per each large corporation… ….

    And we do have very fine schools. It is just that lately we bought and paid to much for faulty measuring sticks to assess their worth.

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