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Blame the state, Rumore for lack of music programs

In a July 15 opinion, the letter writer in a paroxysm of hyperbole, viewed “with horror” “the decimation, or even annihilation planned for art and music in the Buffalo schools.” Fretting further that we are akin to donkeys trudging endlessly around an “Arab” well tethered in some curious way to “corporate masters” and elected “stooges,” the letter writer and many good-meaning folks like him, those from suburban Clarence who took issue with voters who rejected a huge tax increase there, for example, blaming them for a similarly dire loss of art and music, is laboring under a misapprehension.

School boards are held hostage to New York State mandated funding requirements. By law, these mandated costs, 95 percent of which go to teachers’ health care costs, retirement costs and salary requirements, must be funded before anything that parents want for their children, like art and music, can be considered. Faced with taxpayers tapped out of any more tax money to fund all the mandates, the boards cut the only items that they can.

If the writer feels compelled to vent his frustration about the discouraging loss of art and music programs, he need look no further than the New York State Legislature, and Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore. Incidentally, those corporations that are the object of his invective are the employers who provide jobs and paychecks for all the taxpayers who fund the endless mandates, which even he is required to pay for.

Kevin J. Rung

Grand Island