If you’re reading this post, you likely already believe that equity in music education is essential. You’re also likely aware of the truth: equity does not exist.
We have primarily pursued equity in music education by funding organizations that offer music education. The three main sources of funding are:
- Federal revenue (taxes)
These pursuits have been unsuccessful for these reasons:
- Our U.S. Department of Education allocates a greater amount of funding to the educational fields progressing human intellect. The imbalance (dare I say schism?!) that this perpetuates is observable in all facets of life, from the micro to the macro. It is my opinion that federal revenue will not suffice as a means of funding music education until we stop primarily treating education as a means for preparing our children to join the workforce and place greater emphasis on treating education as a means for wellbeing.
- Grants are finite and only help a portion of the population. Although grantors are well-intentioned, we must acknowledge the fact that resources (grant-writers in particular) are needed to apply for most grants. Needing resources to obtain resources effectively creates greater inequity.
- Donations are finite and only help a portion of the population.
There is but a single solution that will create truly sustainable equity in music education. We need to generate large quantities of funding indefinitely. Then we need to distribute said funding to educational programs in direct proportion to each program’s needs.
So how do we generate large quantities of funding indefinitely? Perhaps a more pertinent question is: what generates large quantities of funding indefinitely?
Besides federal and state revenue, which we have already established do not successfully create equity in music education, the answer is business. A new type of business.