How to Provide Equitable Funding for Music and Arts Programs in Public Schools Using an Economics Framework

After a few discussions this weekend, I’ve decided to write down an idea I’ve got for improving on the ‘arts funding’ problem identified by a variety of people in our society. While this is a use of Economics to arrive at a conclusion, I believe it adequately address what I consider to be a breakdown in the education system regarding equity, respect and value for all cultural traditions. As these concepts relate to Philosophy, I feel that this is relevant, although a touch outside of the scope of our class. Ask me questions and I shall teach!

I propose we adopt John Milton’s old concept of schooling vouchers for after-school recreation. This would allow for opportunities to learn from less formalized education sources than schools. One the benefit of this is that it can facilitate more potential efficiency in the use of educating funds. It will also facilitate alternative environments for education, rather than relegating it to a single institution.

Another benefit for a diversity of environments is that students will have more setting in which to they can develop a sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy. This will promote resilience in self-esteem if students face hardships, as the students will have a more diverse sense of identity to draw upon if they find themselves experiencing adversity in a single given area. For example, if a student is being bullied at school, and school is their only regular social environment, they will not have alliterative sources to draw from for a sense of self-efficacy and acceptance. However, if a student is being bullied at school, but they regularly attend an after school music program that is not located in the school, then they will have an alternative source for a sense of self-identity and efficacy.

Finally, it will bring more equity to the educational structures. Specifically, it means that the ‘band program’ (insert your the focus of your local education institution here) will no longer receive resources over an above other peoples, just because it has been deemed valuable by the government. Individuals can choose how they would invest their ‘alternative-education’ dollars. This way, all families might be able to educate their children in their own culturally relevant traditions, and not just the culturally relevant traditions of a white Anglo-Saxon majority dominant in the current education system.

– Nathan


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