The performing arts ensembles funding at risk

Elijah Nichols, Reporter

After continuous success for the performing arts, funding for the arts in Olathe has still not improved and is slowly suffering from the tight budget.

One problem is how people perceive performing arts. The district often puts more focus on how the athletics are doing and tend to put the performing arts on the back burner. “We aren’t getting enough attention, and the culture of the district and our school makes it that way. Our administration is more focused on the sports then the performing arts events,” said Senior, Whitney Schweiger. 

Another issue is there is sometimes a lack of administrative support for the performing arts. “The sports get more attention than the performing arts. The only administrator that came to a lot of events of the performing arts was Mrs. Burch” said senior, Jacob Eagan. 

If the administration put as much support into the performing arts and they do with athletics more people would be interested in what the department is doing, and more money because of attention would help fund the expensive needs that the directors have.

Olathe South has been lucky to not be in extreme debt, but other schools in Kansas cannot say the same. “We are doing OK on budget, but other schools need more. They should balance the budget better amongst the schools,” said Schweiger. 

If one school in the district or even state suffers from an imbalance or lack of budget because of money unfairly going to other unnecessary expenses then that alone is enough to raise concern.

The reason arts deserve more money is because last year South alone has around 2200 students and of that about 182 of them were in band meaning 1 in 12 students are affected by the lack of budget and that deficiency is directly hinders those students education. Also many studies have shown that those involved on average performing better than their counterparts in the classroom.

Although there is some good news, on June 25, the U.S. House approved 167.5 million dollars in funding for the National Education Association budget. This bill would hopefully allow more money and departmental help for not only the performing arts but for all departments who are suffering from a tight budget. The bill now heads to the Senate to be voted on and hopefully approved to help the drought in finances. Through a federal-state partnership, 40% of NEA grant funding goes to state or regional arts organizations. 

If the district put more focus on how much the performing arts then the schools would put more emphasis on the performing arts which would lead to students finding more interest in what the performing arts are doing and then the performing arts would benefit from the support of the student body and the income that comes with it.