The glorious power of the sun is saving arts programs in California schools. Now that’s music to our ears.
As Truth Atlas reports, the state’s 2011 deficit swelled to $27 billion, which meant that school districts had to find ways to slash their budgets. Teachers were laid off, summer school was cancelled, and in the case of the Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District in Fresno County, their entire music program was silenced.
However, in 2012, the small, rural school district found a way to offset the crippling cut. Truth Atlas writes that after borrowing a zero percent loan from the state, Firebaugh was able to install solar structures in three of its five district schools — saving money on energy costs and revitalizing its music program. In fact, thanks to clean, green energy, the district is reportedly on track to save $750,000 over the first five years and about $9 million over 25 years.
Since the 2008 recession, cash-strapped schools across the country have been faced with brutal cost-saving measures. Unfortunately, arts programs are usually first on the chopping block. Some may think that the arts are an expendable luxury, but studies show that music education can actually increase IQs and raise test scores. And anyone who’s seen an episode of Glee knows that music class is a place where students who might feel like social outcasts can fit in.
The importance of arts in schools is clear and the show must go on. Thanks to California’s powerful rays, it will.