Settlement Sends Music CDs To Schools Nationwide

By Andrew Trotter — July 14, 2004 2 min read

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


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.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online
School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing

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 Opinion Eight Ways to Teach With Primary Sources
Four educators share ways they use primary sources with students, including a strategy called "Zoom."
13 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Curriculum The Dr. Seuss Controversy: What Educators Need to Know
The business that manages Dr. Seuss' work and legacy will cease publishing six books due to racist stereotypes and offensive content.
5 min read
A copy of the book "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair on March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator's legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children's titles including "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" and "If I Ran the Zoo," because of insensitive and racist imagery.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced it would cease publication of several of the author's children's titles because of insensitive and racist imagery.
Steven Senne/AP
Curriculum Opinion The Overlooked Support Teachers Are Missing: A Coherent Curriculum
Here’s the research on how districts can improve instructional systems—which was already a challenge in the best of times.
Morgan Polikoff, Elaine Wang & Julia Kaufman
5 min read
A team of people work together to build a block structure.
Imam Fathoni/iStock<br/>
Curriculum Leader To Learn From Taking an Unapologetic Approach to Curriculum Overhaul
An academic leader at a charter school has overhauled curriculum—and proved that instructional rigor and anti-racism can co-exist.
11 min read
Danielle Kelsick, Chief Academic Officer for the Environmental Charter Schools in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Danielle Kelsick, Chief Academic Officer for the Environmental Charter Schools in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Nick Agro for Education Week