FAIRFIELD — The early years in school weren’t always easy for her daughter, Mary Weaver said of 16-year-old Bridget.
But she’s now a sophomore with a 4.0 grade point average at Rodriguez High School.
“Music made the difference in her life,” Weaver said.
Weaver was one of more than a dozen speakers Thursday telling Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees that more funds should be spent for music education in elementary schools. Supporters want the 50 minutes a month of such instruction expanded to two 25-minute sessions a week.
Jacob Purvis, 9, who attends Rolling Hills Elementary, told trustees that he plays the drums.
“It makes me feel happy when I play,” Purvis said.
He spoke about missing two years of music because instruction wasn’t available at the school. Purvis said he feels sad for children without any music education at all.
“Please bring music to all the schools so my friends can be happy, too,” he said.
Wanda Cook, artistic director of the nonprofit Young Artists Conservatory of Music in Solano County, said as a youth she stuttered.
” ‘The King’s Speech’ was me,” she said of the 2010 movie about King George VI of the United Kingdom.
When Cook sang she realized her stuttering was a breathing problem.
She also spoke about a dinner party when she asked a man if he’d give up music for $10 million. No way, the man replied. Music is priceless, Cooke said.
“We must have music,” she said.
Speakers talked during public comment when – Board President Perry Polk noted – trustees cannot take action or discuss comments.
After four music education supporters spoke earlier in the meeting, District Superintendent Kris Corey said that severe funding cutbacks hit in recent years and reduced school programs.
“All of us support music education and physical education,” she said. “We want everything back.”
Trustees will review next year’s budget carefully, Corey said.
Corey also said that the school district allows students to charge meals because no one should go hungry. A review of schools shows not one student has charged more than $25 but that between Aug. 15 and Monday the total cost to the district for such meals is about $20,000.
“That’s a lot of money,” she said.
The superintendent asked parents to check their children’s lunch accounts and fill out an application for free and reduced-cost lunches even if they think they won’t qualify. Last year 58 percent of students did while the number has dropped to 53 percent, Corey said. When school districts reach 55 percent they qualify for additional funds, she noted.
Parents can check lunch accounts online and pay online, Corey said.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or email@example.com.