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Band boosters will make up for cuts

The North Kitsap High School Marching Band     performs in 2011. Band booster clubs at North Kitsap and Kingston high schools will have to raise more money this year after cuts were made to music instructors’  building and transportation funds.                   - File photo
The North Kitsap High School Marching Band performs in 2011. Band booster clubs at North Kitsap and Kingston high schools will have to raise more money this year after cuts were made to music instructors’ building and transportation funds.
— image credit: File photo

POULSBO — The band boosters for North Kitsap and Kingston high schools will try to make up a portion of budget cuts for the 2012-13 school year to keep their programs running at the same level as last year.

Following cuts to building and transportation funds, the North Kitsap Band Boosters will have to raise approximately $6,000. Kingston Band Boosters will have to raise a little more than $4,000.

NKHS Band Booster President Randy Borek said the club will try its best to raise that money. The club is looking at partnerships within the community, such as businesses. There are also going to be more fundraising efforts.

“We’ll give it a shot,” Borek said. “Budget times are tough for everybody. There’s only one community and we’re all going for the same money.”

The cuts to the building and transportation funds were the result of a school board discussion that, originally, would have band students pay a $125 participation fee to be in marching band. The fee would be similar to that of athletic participation fees. Currently, students pay a fee of $125 per sport, with a cap of $250 each school year.

The cuts to band funding were part of the school board’s efforts to cut spending by more than $2 million to balance the 2012-13 budget. The budget was approved during a special meeting July 31.

Along with the building and transportation funding for band, the MSOCs — materials, supplies and operating costs — for elementary schools were reduced in an effort to cut $50,000.

A change to marching band this year does not allow students to receive credit for marching band as in the past. Instead, those students enrolled will receive a PE waiver to give them the time they need away from the classroom to participate.

Prior to the start of the 2012-13 school year, school administrators found earning credit for marching band violates Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction policy, according to a presentation by NKHS principal Judson Miller. It may be possible to earn credit for marching band in the future, however, it requires a board policy that is not in place. As stated in the presentation by Miller, there is “no board policy regarding specific credit equivalency or exchange” for marching band.

Because students and their families already have many out-of-pocket costs to participate in band, NKHS band director Susan Peters said it would be difficult to pass along more fees. Band costs fluctuate depending on how much a band student participates in extra activities, but can include shoes, clothes and travel. There are lots of choices, which add up, Peters said. Separate donation fees to the NKHS band boosters of $125 are also already made by families.

Though band does bring in larger crowds for sports and tries to raise school spirit, Peters said she will just deal with having less of a budget this year.

“Everyone is going to make a sacrifice,” she said.

With the cuts also ends the chance to work toward sending the band to Washington, D.C., for the presidential inauguration. There was no guarantee the band would have been selected, and the band would not have known if it made it for some time, but Peters said the cuts “pretty much does Washington, D.C. in.” The band will instead look to travel to San Francisco for a performance, which will cost students about $700 each. The trip to D.C. would have been about $50,000 total.

In an effort to raise money for band, NKHS will be participating in the Chase Giving program this year, which allows customers and employees to nominate programs for a chance at part of a $2.5 million grant.

A raffle will also be held this year for a shot at a $500 Costco gas gift card.

 

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