Because school officials in Norridge, Illinois, say the district can’t take a chance on spending more money than it has next year, the School District 80 school board voted on Tuesday to cancel the band program, beginning with the 2018-19 school year, the Norridge-Harwood Heights News reports.
“The problem does not go away,” the paper quoted board member Tim Ludston as saying. “There are going to be more cuts in the future. We’re going to be in a deficit again, and procrastinating and putting it off and not dealing with the situation for a decade is what got us here.”
In the previous two elections, the district had put referendums on the ballot asking voters to approve more spending, but both of those failed. The district says it’s out of options and its officials worry that even with these cuts, the district could fall deeper into debt.
A little before the final vote relegated yet another band program to the archives of history, Rick LoPresto, a Giles graduate and now a band director at Bernotas Middle School in Crystal Lake, told the board that being involved in instrumental music “fills a unique niche for students’ social and emotional growth. Members of a band make a connection unlike other academic offerings, including team sports. For many, band is really where they finally find their place.”