At the Oct. 9, 2018 informal Hernando County school board meeting, Linda Prescott reported that six elementary schools do not have music programs. She also cited recent research into the benefits of music education for young students. Mentioning also that there is still a noticeable skills gap in Hernando County students, Prescott asked about the possibility of reinstating music education in schools without it.
Over the years, music programs have been eliminated due to budget cuts. Board Member Beth Narverud mentioned the possibility of cutting elsewhere to bring the music programs back.
Interim Superintendent John Stratton cautioned the board about cutting services, “That becomes the difficult part… We’re pretty lean. The last few years have been better, we’ve been able to do things… it’s been a few years since we’ve had to make (budget) cuts. I don’t know if the public knows how far we’ve had to cut over those lean years.”
Another funding opportunity exists in possible grants. Though not a full time grant-writer, Tresa Watson, the executive director of the Hernando Community Coalition, has written grants for the school board and is currently working on a $400,000 grant to improve mental health services, according to board member Mark Johnson.