The Manhattan Beach Music Coalition was officially formed in July of 2020, but the dedicated group of parents that caused its formation were advocating on behalf of the Music Program at a grass roots level long before that. Below you will find a running timeline of relevant events.
Timeline of Relevant Events
Cuts Made to the Music Program
Cuts to Elementary Music – General music for grades 1 & 2; Instrumental Assistants
Cuts to Secondary Music – “Low Enrollment” classes
SEE THE MEETING MINUTES
Report from National Expert Commissioned
The Music Booster organizations unite to commission a report on the Music Program from national expert, Dr. John Benham
Dr. John Benham’s Report is published. The Report details the structural problems that threaten the longevity of the Music Program.
READ THE BENHAM REPORT
Town Hall Held
Over 300 community members attend a town hall hosted by the music booster organizations. Dr. John Benham presents the findings in his Report.
Public Comments Request Music Subcommittee
Following the town hall, hundreds of community members submit public comments requesting that the School Board create a Music Subcommittee to study the Report and issue Recommendations.
READ THE PUBLIC COMMENTS
School Board Creates Music Subcommittee
Music Teachers and Instrumental Assistants are Not Reinstated; Additional Cuts at the Secondary Level for “Low Enrollment”
• MBUSD rescinds several cuts to classified and certificated staff on the basis that extra support will be needed in distance learning, but does not restore the instrumental assistants or general music for grades 1 & 2.
• Additional cuts are made to music when three classes are cut for “low enrollment”.
Music Subcommittee Meets
Parent Representatives on the Committee work to have low enrollment classes restored, and cuts to elementary music rescinded.
FIND OUT MORE
District Agrees to Offer Secondary Music Classes Cut for Low Enrollment
MBEF commits funding for 0.4 FTE, and music-supporting parents pledge to raise the funds needed for the remaining 0.2 FTE so that all 3 secondary music classes can be restored (one section of Choir, one section of Orchestra, one section of Music Theory)
MB Music Coalition is Formed
Despite Distance Learning Decision for Fall 2020, District Does Not Reinstate Instrumental Assistants
Despite having an influx of funding for Covid-related needs, and technical/online challenges that disproportionately impact learning music online, the District does not reinstate Instrumental Assistants at the elementary level, leaving the youngest learners without the support and individual attention they need.
Board Recognizes that Teaching Music in the Distance Format Presents Unique Challenges
VAPA is identified as a “High Needs” category because its “needs can’t be met through a virtual instruction platform.”
WATCH THE MEETING
The Leading Note Article – “Is MBUSD at Risk of Having a ‘Lost Generation of Musicians?’ – Is Published
Music Subcommittee Report is Issued
months of meetings, in-depth research, and discussions, the Music Subcommittee issues its Report and Recommendations to the School Board
READ THE REPORT
Town Hall on the Music Subcommittee’s Report is Held
The MB Music Coalition hosts a Town Hall on the Music Report. The Recommendations are discussed, as is the need to focus on strengthening music at the elementary level.
VIEW THE PRESENTATION
Position Paper on the MBMS Bell Schedule is Published
In response to proposed changes to the MBMS Bell Schedule that would effectively eliminate electives, seriously impacting if not completely eliminating VAPA electives, the MB Music Coalition publishes a Position Paper discussing the issue.
READ IT HERE
Petition is Circulated
MB Music Coalition circulates Petition asking the School Board to adopt and implement the Music Subcommittee’s Report and Recommendations. Over 800 people sign the Petition within 2 weeks.
SIGN THE PETITION
Additional Cuts Made to the Music Program
Despite overwhelming community support for music, the School Board approves an additional 0.4 FTE cut to the music program by a vote of 3/2. Though the cuts are purportedly to “high school music” only, early indicators suggest that the impact may be more widespread.
READ THE RESOLUTION
SEE THE MEETING MINUTES