In 2009, the voters of La Cañada Flintridge passed a first-ever parcel tax, which has already helped fund our public schools here in La Cañada. This month, the Parcel Tax Oversight Committee would like to highlight one of the outstanding uses of these funds: Grades 7/8 music programs.
As a professional musician, I can attest to the value of music education at any age. There have been countless studies on the benefits of music education in schools at all grade levels, and the results all point to the same thing: Students involved in music—whether it be instrumental, vocal or music appreciation—are markedly better off than those who are not.
The benefits highlighted in recent studies include some that are obvious and some that are not so obvious: improved SAT scores; improved math and verbal proficiency; improved language skills; higher acceptance rates to medical schools; lower current and long-term drug and alcohol abuse; and higher self esteem. A list of studies may be viewed at: www.childrensmusicworkshop.com.
I want to emphasize that while our parcel tax is $150 per parcel, the amount paid by the cities that make up three of the other top five ranked districts in the state of California pay an average of $1,346, ranging from $589 to $2,349 in annual parcel tax.
In the city of La Cañada Flintridge, education is our “industry,” and the funds provided to our local schools from our parcel tax have already proven to be invaluable in helping to offer the outstanding education we have come to expect.
BRENT KUSZYK is a member of the La Cañada Unified School District Parcel Tax Oversight Committee. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.