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Call for Public Comment at School Board Budget Workshop


On Wednesday, January 20th, the Manhattan Beach School Board will hold a Budget Workshop (click HERE for details).

Conversations during the workshop directly relate to the recommendations that will frame the rest of the budget process.

Scroll down for more in-depth information, but simply put, our nationally recognized program is in jeopardy.

The Music Program needs your help! Click HERE to submit a public comment for the School Board to consider.

Every comment makes a big difference. Even if you submitted a comment earlier in the year or last spring, your voice is needed once again.

Please speak up in favor of the Music Program by 2pm on 1/20!

Here are some reasons continued and increased funding should be given to the Music Program:

• The program is still reeling from the cuts made last year. Unlike many other areas, those cuts were not fully rescinded.

• While MBEF provides crucial contributions to the music program, only 5 cents of every dollar donated to MBEF went to music for the 2020-21 school year.

• Music classes provide much needed academic, social and emotional benefits to students. The data on this is clear, and well-established. It is an overwhelming, factual, and lived sentiment that nonetheless must be repeated.

Below you will find tips, resources, and more information.

To submit a comment, please click on this LINK, and reference Agenda item B1 (“MBUSD 2021-2022 Budget”).

The Workshop begins at 5pm. It is recommended that comments be submitted before 2pm.

Thank you for your crucial support of the Music Program!

~ Scroll Down for More Information ~

Nearly a year ago, cuts to the music program raised alarm within the Manhattan Beach community, and a report was commissioned to examine the state of our music program.

That report was made public, and thanks in part to the heartfelt and serious appeals by students, parents, community members, extended family and music supporters far and wide, the Board moved to form a music subcommittee (more about the status of those efforts can be found below).

That committee is poised to share its findings with the Board shortly, but once again the Music Program is asking for your help.

On January 20th, the Board of Trustees will hold a Budget Workshop. Simply put, what ends up on a cut list later has its roots in this workshop.

Some cuts imposed on the music program last year were not rescinded (a recap of that history can be found HERE). We believe the Music Program cannot survive any additional cuts.

We further believe that there are sound reasons why the District should financially support its music program (read more HERE).

If you agree, we need your help! Share with the Board your reasons for valuing the music program, and your thoughts on why it is deserving of continued, or even increased, financial support.

Some tips on submitting public comment, including a suggested template, are included below.

It is important to bring your own unique voice, experience and perspective to the board.

We also encourage each individual to speak up by submitting their own public comment. A parent’s reasons for valuing the program are often different from a student’s.

Our hope is that all interested voices will be shared and heard. 


If there was ever a day when having music class was important to you, please raise your voice now, and share the value of the Music Program with the School Board!

Thank you!

Submit Comments by Noon on 1/20

Use THIS LINK to Submit Comment

Want To Do More?

~ Tips, Resources, and More Information ~

General Guidelines for Public Comment:

  • While there is no minimum length, your submission should be no longer than 400 words. Succinct letters might have a greater impact;

  • Please note on your comment that it is being submitted in support of the Music Program;

  • The deadline to submit your letter is normally 1 hour before the meeting. However, please submit as soon as practical and, ideally, by 2pm on the day of the meeting (1/20);

  • Please do not include any negative comments levied toward any board members, administrators, teachers or other programs. The focus of your letter should be constructive and reflect the positives of the music program. As Dr. Benham reminded all of us, and which is included in his report, a strong music program also strengthens other programs. Its strength does not need to come at the expense of any other program.

Public Comment Letter Template

Paragraph 1

State who you are and your connection to the music program (Student, Parent, Former Student or Parent, Community Supporter). Please use the umbrella term “music” rather than band, choir or orchestra in this opening section. 

Paragraph 2

Share your personal experiences with the music program, or why it is of value to you, such as:


  • How you/your child has benefitted from the music program (personal growth, development, academically, social wellness, college applications);


  • How you/your child learned other life skills such as better time management that has helped in other areas of life;


  • Other benefits you/your child derived from the music program ~ how it helped you/your child in other areas of his/her/their life.


In this paragraph, it is certainly appropriate to name the specific music program(s) you have experience in (band, choir or orchestra). 

Paragraph 3

Let the board know how you would like them to proceed. We are asking that no cuts be made to the music program, and that every available resource be used to reverse the past damage that has been done, and set the program on a road to recovery.

Work Done Within the Music Subcommittee:

The Music Subcommittee began its work in the early days of the pandemic. Even as substantial time, effort and resources had to be diverted to grappling with the question of reopening schools and distance learning, the members of the committee did not falter in their charge to look closely at the issues facing the music program.

Throughout the spring, summer and fall, the committee:

• Researched best practices and explored how they paired with our district

• Compiled and examined relevant current research

• Researched and discussed alternate sources of funding

• Surveyed students and parents to discover what was working and what wasn't

• Met regularly for in depth discussions

• Considered past efforts within the District

• Created a blueprint and timeline

The Committee is slated to submit its report to the Board of Trustees shortly. Once that report is made public, we will share it with you.