Will the Kent School District become known as the district without music?

By Sheri Sutliff, Kent-Meridian High School Parent

Budget crises, spending freezes, numbers games. These are some reasons the Kent School District is telling parents they are losing music classes.

Next year, nearly every middle school is either completely losing or drastically cutting programs like band, orchestra and choir. Kentlake High School has recently cut choir out entirely for next year. Mill Creek Middle School, one of the most diverse middle schools in Washington State with over 70% free and reduced lunch rate, is at the forefront of these cuts – and parents are speaking out. We have collected letters and thousands of signatures from community members via hard copy and online petitions demanding these classes be reinstated.  However, will the district even listen?

How have they gotten to this point, and what has gone so wrong? There is a strong vibrant performing arts community in Kent, but behind closed doors, without the voices of our constituents being heard, we are losing our most valuable classes.  This has already lead to a lack of equitable course choices and access for our students. Parents are concerned that these cuts will lead to continued inequitable access to classes that can be found in any other large school district.


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