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Letter: Booster funds should not be used to pay subs

I would like to voice my total disgust in Rockdale County's Board of Education. In the last day or so, Edwards Middle School Band Boosters has received multiple bills to pay for substitute teachers to oversee students who don't participate in off-campus activities, such as Honor Bands, festivals, etc. This is outrageous!In the almost three years that I have been involved in my daughter's band, this has never been brought to light, but we are told this is a county-wide policy for all boosters! Now, all the hard-earned monies raised to support music in our school to pay for instruments, repairs, stands, security cameras, etc. have been cut short to cover the cost of a substitute teacher plus the percentage for the sub's benefits. What a joke! This is a teacher's position! Do the students in a core class have to chip in his or her lunch monies to pay for a substitute teacher when the assigned teacher is not in the class? Band is a commitment and our students as well as parents are committed!

Not only do the Band Boosters have to pay for the substitute teacher when the band director is away for the day with the band, including an additional amount for benefits, but our band director was forced to participate in teaching the sixth-grade gifted reading class for his first period of the day. With that in mind, not only are the funds raised for band use going to pay for overseeing band students not involved in extracurricular band events but an academic class as well! My concern is why is a band director teaching a reading class to begin with? This should be a concern to all parents at this point. The band room is not set up for instructional teaching, only music; there are no desks, only chairs and stands. I know I would prefer my "gifted" student to be taught by "gifted" teachers, as this is not an elective class but a core required class. The Boosters are designed to offset the lack of funding for music and arts available to students, and these funds are raised by the students and their parents ... not to pay for substitute teachers!

The BOE must correct this policy, otherwise the students (once again) will be the ones hurt in the long run. Shame on you, Board of Education!

Rhonda Hogan

Conyers