Martensdale-St. Mary's cuts teacher, ...

Martensdale-St. Mary's cuts teacher, halves music department

There are 142 comments on the WHOtv story from Apr 12, 2010, titled Martensdale-St. Mary's cuts teacher, halves music department. In it, WHOtv reports that:

Martinsdale-St. Mary's is just another school district facing budget cuts. Susan Clark will likely be one of those cuts.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WHOtv.

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Erin

Pella, IA

#1 Apr 12, 2010
Then why was there a big stadium built in martensdale a size of 500 people that costed millions but yet we have to cut over two hundred thousand.. you can tell where their priorities are... and its not for the students best interests.. You could easily fix this problem by getting rid of a principal that isn't necessary in a school that is only getting smaller.
clone

Creston, IA

#2 Apr 13, 2010
Erin wrote:
Then why was there a big stadium built in martensdale a size of 500 people that costed millions but yet we have to cut over two hundred thousand.. you can tell where their priorities are... and its not for the students best interests.. You could easily fix this problem by getting rid of a principal that isn't necessary in a school that is only getting smaller.
The money used for the stadium had to be used on facilities in the district or the school wouldn't be able to use it at all. They also put A/C throughout the school amongst other things. The cuts are extremely unfortunate, but they have nothing to do with the football field whatsoever. In addition, instead of people trying to make the school look "evil"...they need to vent frustration to Culver and our government. The reason any school is talking about having to make cuts is because of Culver's 10% across the board cuts. MstM is short a few hundred thousand dollars now because of Culver's decision, not because of the school board and administration. Directing anger at the school is plain silly. If you are upset and have problems with what is happening, then you need to talk to Culver or your elected officials.
Long22

San Francisco, CA

#3 Apr 13, 2010
It is to bad that Martensdale St. Mary's is cutting a music teacher. I would like to know what other schools are cutting that are of the same size as MStM. Does anyone have that information?
Hannah

Sloughhouse, CA

#4 Apr 13, 2010
I go to this school and have been involved in musical activities for years now. Our school will definitly have a much lower enrollment rate since the majority of the high school does music. This is a bad decision!
Hannah

Sloughhouse, CA

#5 Apr 13, 2010
Erin wrote:
Then why was there a big stadium built in martensdale a size of 500 people that costed millions but yet we have to cut over two hundred thousand.. you can tell where their priorities are... and its not for the students best interests.. You could easily fix this problem by getting rid of a principal that isn't necessary in a school that is only getting smaller.
I agree with you. I go to this school and we paid all this money for a football field for a team that hasent won a game in forever.
Kelsie

Martensdale, IA

#6 Apr 13, 2010
I attend MSTM this is my senior year and it is very hard and difficult to lose a teacher that i have a connection with. I agree the football field should not of been put in but when its the only thing we could spend it on, we had to do it. the A/C is very nice we do not have to sit in class and suffer so bad now. we have to look at all the positives and not just all the negatives. if we do than its just going to make things worse by looking at the negatives.
Honest Man

Montgomery, AL

#7 Apr 13, 2010
Dont be an idiot. Schools receive different pots of money, for different projects. Not using the funds for the project the funds are identified for would result in loosing said pot of money. Using the funds to pay for something not associated with that pot of money is illegall and punishable under the anti defecient act.
Kelly

Des Moines, IA

#8 Apr 13, 2010
The new stadium does not have anything to do with the budget cuts that we are dealing with now. The funds for the stadium are separate from the funds used for staffing teachers and administration. If that money was not used it would have been lost. It is unfortunate that the music department is suffering cuts. It will affect all students - pre-K through 12. It is my fear that this will cause students in the district to open enroll in other districts that did not have cuts to their music programs. I do not believe that concerned parents are trying to make the school look "evil", what we are wanting is to know what research was done in making this decision, and that this is absolutely the last resort. No teacher should be cut unless absolutely necessary. It is the teacher's that are teaching and preparing our children for the future. Administrators are not teaching my children, the teachers are and if they are stretched to thinly how good of a job are they able to do?
Nathan

France

#9 Apr 13, 2010
Long22 wrote:
It is to bad that Martensdale St. Mary's is cutting a music teacher. I would like to know what other schools are cutting that are of the same size as MStM. Does anyone have that information?
I know Estherville is eliminating a music position as well. They are larger than Martensdale.
Again

Streator, IL

#10 Apr 13, 2010
We give billions to different countries, spend hundreds of millions of dollars on putting bike trails in states, give money to those who don't want to work but we can't get money for our schools. What is going on? I grew up thinking knowledge is power, to me they are taking that from our children. Why don't we start cutting the pay of the top administators or if they love teaching so well they can take a voluntary pay cut, yeah right. How about the district superintendants? What exactly do they do for their six figure income?
Nathan

France

#11 Apr 13, 2010
Erin wrote:
Then why was there a big stadium built in martensdale a size of 500 people that costed millions but yet we have to cut over two hundred thousand.. you can tell where their priorities are... and its not for the students best interests.. You could easily fix this problem by getting rid of a principal that isn't necessary in a school that is only getting smaller.
Erin, you apparently need a lesson in school finance. Why don't you call Jill Gavin at Martensdale and have her explain it for you. As has already been said, those two funds are separate. The one percent sales tax money cannot be used as a general fund and cannot be used for salaries, it must be used for facilities. I believe much of the stadium was also paid for with a grant but I may be wrong on that. The stadium was already in the works long before all the budget crisis. Try to get your facts straight.
MSTM music students mom

Grand Junction, IA

#12 Apr 13, 2010
Mrs. Clark taught the high school music department but also the elementary music students. Our kids need the music program or they are not going to be interested in music later. She is a wonderful music teacher. She is not only admired by the kids at MSTM but also the parents. She is a very positive role model for our children. We need more, not less of teachers like her. I believe every school deserves a music department. There has to be a way to keep music in our schools.
Cyclone Fan

De Witt, IA

#13 Apr 13, 2010
I think much of the dollar crunch can be aleviated by the federal govenment grants that a town or school has to use or lose. The grants now should be used for necessities not luxuries until and if the economy gets back on track.

I think overextended credit to citizens has much to do with our problem now. It used to be it was a major task to fill out a credit report and then for a first credit card a small limit was issued until the person showed ability to pay. I know I worked in a national chain and filled out many of them. Now all you do most places is show ID at the register and BAM! If you have half a dozen credit cards you can get half a dozen more. I knew some day would be a stop buying and PAY up day and now many don't have the means to pay and never have yet the government needs us to keep spending to improve the economy.

Most schools and businesses have been out of control in spending for so long. Now it's time to balance the budget like should have been done years ago and it's going to be very painful for everyone.
Long22

San Francisco, CA

#14 Apr 13, 2010
Nathan wrote:
<quoted text>
I know Estherville is eliminating a music position as well. They are larger than Martensdale.
Thanks for the insight Nathan. I have also been told today that East High is cutting down to one music teacher, that teacher is to cover East HS and 3 elementarys. I am not sure if that it the full truth but if it is, I am assuming MStM can do with one music teacher to 500 kids in one building.
Kelly

Des Moines, IA

#15 Apr 13, 2010
Long22 wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the insight Nathan. I have also been told today that East High is cutting down to one music teacher, that teacher is to cover East HS and 3 elementarys. I am not sure if that it the full truth but if it is, I am assuming MStM can do with one music teacher to 500 kids in one building.
I think we need to clarify that we do NOT have two music teachers. We have one vocal music teacher and one band/instrument teacher. Asking the band instructor to now take on the role of vocal teacher would be like asking your dentist to put braces on your child instead of taking them to an orthodontist.
Nathan

France

#16 Apr 13, 2010
Kelly wrote:
<quoted text>
I think we need to clarify that we do NOT have two music teachers. We have one vocal music teacher and one band/instrument teacher. Asking the band instructor to now take on the role of vocal teacher would be like asking your dentist to put braces on your child instead of taking them to an orthodontist.
Kelly that is only half true. Mrs. Sondag has taught Vocal music in the past. Although she is primarily Instrumental music she also has the ability to do Vocal, or at least she has in the past.
Long22

San Francisco, CA

#17 Apr 13, 2010
I can't imagine that the board would cut Mrs. Clark if Mrs. Sondag didn't have the proper credentials to teach both vocal and instrumental music. That is something that needs to be researched, if she can do both GREAT!
common sense

United States

#18 Apr 13, 2010
I was at the meeting last night and at no time did anyone who attended last night call the board evil. Everyone was respectful and open minded. It was quite apparent though, that the school board was not as informed about the issues as they should be. There were a lot of confused moments and there were times when their frustration showed. The only rude person on the agenda was the wife of one of the board members, telling us basically it was all our fault.. Tough to know whats going on if they don't tell you.

As to the sales tax issue, yes it is a separate fund, but it is still taxpayer money that should be shown the same diligence as any other tax. The feeling I got last night was its just sales tax. What if it isn't renewed, where will the money come from? And if it can be spent on something that has absolutely nothing to do with test scores and education, then that is a problem. Other schools have used this money to buy and repair instruments. Martensdale didn't.

Martensdale used to have 2.5 music teachers, Mrs
Sondag taught elementary music, a big difference from high school. Mrs Clark, in order to teach the entire program gave up lunch and her planning and many times didn't have time for bathroom breaks. And you want ONE person to teach the whole program? I'd like to see you try
Kelsie

Martensdale, IA

#19 Apr 13, 2010
Long22 wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the insight Nathan. I have also been told today that East High is cutting down to one music teacher, that teacher is to cover East HS and 3 elementarys. I am not sure if that it the full truth but if it is, I am assuming MStM can do with one music teacher to 500 kids in one building.
THere is a major difference between a band teacher and a chorus teacher. The chorus teacher is showing the elementary on the vocal range and a band teacher teaches you how to play an instrument
Jimmy

Saint Charles, IA

#20 Apr 13, 2010
Hannah wrote:
I go to this school and have been involved in musical activities for years now. Our school will definitly have a much lower enrollment rate since the majority of the high school does music. This is a bad decision!
Do you really think this will hurt the enrollment? Have you seen our band? There are very few kids out of band now, why would this hurt our enrollment?

Besides most schools in the area aren't allowing open enrollment.....

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