To the Editor:
In response to “Sour Economy Places Athletics in Jeopardy” (April 1, 2009), which reports on sports programs in schools experiencing funding cuts as districts try to save money:
A reduction in athletics is a pressing issue for many schools, since sports play a fundamental role in most districts. But attention just to athletics overlooks an ongoing issue: Arts programs have also faced numerous cuts, and are in a continuous struggle to remain in schools.
When I attended high school, a very large public school near Houston, the sports teams had ample funding, while the drama and choir programs, of which I was a member, had to cope with budget cuts every year. And this was at a time when the economy was not in a recession. While I appreciate the difficulties sports teams are dealing with right now, arts departments have had to contend with these problems for a much longer time, and their plight deserves just as much respect.
A photo of a student encouraging legislators not to cut funding for the arts appears on Page 4 of your issue, but it hardly competes with the front-page photo of baseball players and the accompanying sports article.
San Antonio, Texas
A version of this article appeared in the April 29, 2009 edition of Education Week as Sports Facing Budget Cuts Just Catching Up to Arts