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Passage A concerned citizen wrote the following letter. It is directed to a school district that is planning to decrease its fine arts education funding. Dear Chairperson Cheslock: I would like to thank you for your commitment to the welfare of Hornet County’s children. The board of education’s decision to provide funds for new school buses is encouraging. Like so many other parents, I am pleased that the board recognizes the importance of safeguarding our children not only in the school buildings and on the playing fields, but also on the roads. Our students are precious cargo—they should travel in the safest equipment our district can afford. While I understand the difficulty these decisions place on the already strained budget, I am concerned. The board’s recent vote to eliminate the fine arts programs in our schools while reducing funding for athletic programs by only 5 percent is disappointing. Members of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of Hornet County have seen major cuts in funding for fine arts programs over the past five years. These programs include the art, drama, choir, and music classes. During this same time, the athletics department had only minor funding decreases. The fine arts department has already lost six teaching positions. Even with reduced budgets, the arts programs have continued to present award-winning art exhibits, plays, choir performances, and band concerts. I was appalled to learn that the fine arts programs will be eliminated in the next school year. The PTA understands that sports programs have a positive impact on children. Our students need to learn the importance of teamwork and to develop self-confidence. We must keep our students physically fit and foster a spirit of healthy competition. However, these benefits are not unique to athletics. The marching band competes with other district bands for top ranking in the state. Self-confidence grows just as easily on the stage as it does on the soccer field. And what choir can sing in harmony without teamwork? We must realize that the skills so commonly associated with athletics can be taught in other areas as well. Not all students are athletically inclined, but music, drama, and art can be their outlet to gain recognition. Research shows that students who learn to play an instrument achieve higher scores on math and science tests. On average, children who play instruments score 100 points higher on college entrance exams than those who do not. Studies have also proven that music makes people feel less anxious and lonely. Music and other fine arts programs are critical factors in helping teenagers cope with stress. Drama programs teach students how to communicate effectively and listen. These are critical skills for the workplace. Attendance at school drama performances rivals the attendance at most sporting events. These programs present our schools in the best light and foster the development of well-rounded individuals. Our schools’ visual arts programs allow students to showcase their talents to the community through annual exhibits. Studies show that individuals who participate in visual arts programs demonstrate a greater sense of well-being and an improved ability to express themselves effectively. The board of education has shown its dedication to our children. However, we urge you to reconsider your funding for the athletics and fine arts programs. Cutting the athletics budget by only 5 percent and the fine arts programs by 100 percent does not seem balanced. Art should not be sacrificed at the expense of games. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and remember that you hold precious cargo in your hands. Very truly yours, Franklin G. Aniello, President Hornet County Parent Teacher Association
Which argument does the author make in the letter to support his position? Arts programs can help students develop teamwork and self-confidence as well as sports programs can. Arts programs are better than sports programs at developing teamwork and self- confidence. Arts programs are important even though they do not develop teamwork and self- confidence.
How does the author of this letter support his view that the arts are an important part of education? He explains that despite budget cuts, arts programs have continued to be successful. He cites research showing that students who play an instrument have higher test scores than those who don't. He explains that athletic programs have been cut by only 5 percent, while arts programs are being eliminated entirely.
I'm late but A. Arts programs can help students develop teamwork and self-confidence as well as sports programs can. and B. He cites research showing that students who play an instrument have higher test scores than those who don't.