Friday, 06 July 2012 00:00The Westbury Union Free School District recently constructed a dance studio at the Westbury High School.
I submit that this, teaching students to dance, represents a poor use of our tax dollars when we as a district are struggling educationally.
We hear from the supporters of the dance studio rhetoric such as “it enhances self-esteem,” or it “provides exercise to the students” and increases the chance for student scholarships. My perspective however, is instead based upon cost benefit, need and results.
My first contention is that a dance studio is unnecessary and dance is not included in the New York State curriculum. Teaching dance requires the instructor to hold a teacher certificate in dance and requires parental permission and equipment and results in additional costs to the community.
As to the outcome, hopefully some student may at least gain an appreciation for dance, or may pursue some related courses at a college or university, unfortunately most of our students who attend college at all, attend a two-year college and fewer graduate. Our students more often require remedial training in the basics.
The real cost of building and maintaining a dance studio can also be measured by the redirection of resources away from needed traditional classroom equipment and supplies, desks and space that could alternatively be used for educational curricula.
This is an example of a misguided frivolous investment while other successful districts invest in reading, writing and arithmetic, while we invest in dance.
If you doubt the accuracy of any information I’ve presented, please call the Westbury Union Free School District Administration Office at 876-5000 to verify my facts. Follow the prompts to reach out to the superintendent or acting superintendent.
Former school board trustee