AISD to spend $1.96 million this year for music equipment

Students play violins

Students play violins

The first batch of music capital requests from AISD teachers – to be paid for by the 2014 Bond package – has been submitted to the AISD purchasing department.

The 2014 Bond package includes $9.8 million over the course of five years for district music capital, or $1.96 million each year. “That amount is remarkable for a school district to realize,” said Robert Myers, AISD fine arts coordinator for music. The AISD has made fine arts a real priority and is actively pursuing its strategic goal to have 100 percent of students actively involved in extracurricular and co-curricular activities.

The bond funds will be used to purchase items like instruments, uniforms, music stands, choir shells and risers – depending on the individual needs of each campus. The new music equipment will help replace some older items, as instruments and uniforms have a finite shelf life. But the new equipment is not all about replacement. There is also a need for greater quantities of quality instruments, required because student music participation is growing across the district.

The system for purchasing the new music equipment is, as Myers described it, a “remarkably involved process with many checks and balances.” Teachers at each campus consider their needs and then use an online form to submit their requests to the fine arts department. The fine arts department reviews all the campus requests and then submits a comprehensive batch of requests to the purchasing department to seek bids from potential vendors. The best bids will then be sent to the AISD Board of Trustees for approval. Once approval is granted, the items will be ordered.

The music capital in the current batch of requests should arrive at schools in August, just in time for the 2015-2016 school year.