Settlement Sends Music CDs To Schools Nationwide

By Andrew Trotter — July 14, 2004 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Musical blasts from the past are arriving in cardboard boxes at schools, colleges, and libraries across the United States this summer, an unexpected boost to the music resources available to their students and patrons.

But schools have found some of the material inappropriate for students, or in overabundant quantities.

Thousands of music CDs are being sent, free of charge, by the music-recording industry, to 43 states as part of a $78 million legal settlement. The deal, reached July 9, 2003, resolves charges that distributors allegedly fixed prices of compact discs sold at nontraditional music outlets, such as Target and Wal-Mart stores, from 1995 through 2000.

Washington state, one of the first states to be sent the CDs, is directing 72,800 of its total of 115,000 to K-12 schools. Further distribution is being handled by the state’s nine Educational Service Districts, which will send them to schools.

In the states that have been the first to receive the shipments, the CDs have generally been welcomed, but educators have raised eyebrows at some titles and some of the quantities received.

In Washington state, for example, Educational Service District 121, which serves 35 school districts in the Puget Sound area, received more than 1,300 copies of Whitney Houston’s 1991 rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” according to district spokeswoman Kerry MacDonald.

In addition, some educational service districts received music that was “inappropriate for children—they had warning labels on them, for adult lyrics and so forth,” said Gary Larson, a spokesman for state Attorney General Christine O. Gregoire.

“We especially said we don’t want those things to be included in our allotment,” he said.

Mr. Larson said that his office is setting up an e-mail list to assist schools and libraries in trading excess or unwanted titles with one another.

Sorting Process

Brad Naioni, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office in New York, which was one of the lead states in negotiating the CD settlement, said schools and libraries there are allowed to sell their CDs “as long as the money is used for music education.”

Meanwhile, at Educational Service District 113 in Olympia, Wash., staff members spent several days in late June sorting through 5,000 CDs, preparing boxes to be sent to their 45 school districts, which together serve 65,000 students.

“We had classical, country, jazz, popular, easy-listening; foreign, like Latin and African,” said Lynne Forbush, a district media technician. “We received a whole box set of Gene Autry, which was before my time. ... We got another nice one on the Supremes.”

Many titles seemed culled from the music industry’s warehouses, but Ms. Forbush said, “I didn’t expect to receive the top 100 CDs the record companies were selling.”

But the collection also included recent hip-hop titles that many students may enjoy, she added.

Plus, she said, just about any title would be welcome in schools, because teachers often use their own money to buy music recordings for their classrooms.

And music “is probably nonexistent in their school libraries,” Ms. Forbush said.

The settlement specified different musical categories and titles, including classical, rock, jazz, and Latin. The value of the $78 million CD giveaway was calculated at 20 percent below the manufacturers’ suggested retail prices.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the July 14, 2004 edition of Education Week as Settlement Sends Music CDs To Schools Nationwide


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum Explainer Social Studies and Science Get Short Shrift in Elementary Schools. Why That Matters
Learn why the subjects play a key role in elementary classrooms—and how new policy debates may shift the status quo.
10 min read
Science teacher assists elementary school student in the classroom
iStock / Getty Images Plus
Curriculum Letter to the Editor Finance Education in Schools Must Be More Than Personal
Schools need to teach students to see how their spending impacts others, writes the executive director of the Institute for Humane Education.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Curriculum Q&A Why One District Hired Its Students to Review Curricula
Virginia's Hampton City school district pays a cadre of student interns to give feedback on curriculum.
3 min read
Kate Maxlow, director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment at Hampton City Schools, who helped give students a voice in curriculum redesign, works in her office on January 12, 2024.
Kate Maxlow is the director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment in Virginia's Hampton City school district. She worked with students to give them a voice in shaping curriculum.
Sam Mallon/Education Week
Curriculum One School District Just Pulled 1,600 Books From Its Shelves—Including the Dictionary
And the broadening book ban attempts may drive some teachers out of the classroom.
6 min read
Books are displayed at the Banned Book Library at American Stage in St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 18, 2023. In Florida, some schools have covered or removed books under a new law that requires an evaluation of reading materials and for districts to publish a searchable list of books where individuals can then challenge specific titles.
Books are displayed at the Banned Book Library at American Stage in St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 18, 2023. In Florida, some schools have covered or removed books under a new law that requires an evaluation of reading materials and for districts to publish a searchable list of books where individuals can then challenge specific titles.
Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times via AP