Reply To: Using School-Owned Instruments

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Most counties have a policy on this (often based on state law). In our county, under no circumstances can you REQUIRE a student to rent or purchase an instrument (or any school related material for that matter). As a matter of being a government agency, a school cannot recommend a vendor. This policy has been legally upheld in numerous states. Most states do not allow you to charge students to participate (e.g. fee or rental). You may be able to request donations, but very rarely will you be able to actually require that students pay.

As a rule of thumb, when establishing policies related to finances, ALWAYS check your board policy and get principal approval. While we may not agree with the policies, we are bound by them and to the students we teach. It is our obligation to afford them every opportunity to play an instruments. Middle and high school may be the only exposure these students EVER get to this kind of music and as educators, we should make every effort to offer these students the highest quality instruction possible, no matter a student’s financial situation.