Why stop with art?

The story goes that when Winston Churchill was asked to cut funding for the arts during World War II in order to spend more money on the war effort, he responded, “What do you think we are fighting for?”
But that was then.
What did Winston Churchill know of school budgets and property taxes? Yeah, yeah, art is nice. But it’s 2016. How much more art does the world need?
Besides, other subjects we once thought important have been cut and it didn’t hurt nobody.
Okay, how many of you caught that double negative there?
How many cared?
How many knew what I meant regardless … or irregardless, like using that non-word matters any more either?
There’s a point here. Maybe we should take a long, hard look at English classes too. Has a dangling participle ever caused a real problem? If so, please tell me who to.
But back to other program cuts as examples of wise budgeting.
Geography comes to mind.
Can you believe we once considered that worthwhile? How long has it been since we took a hatchet to geography? Decades, right? And did the world stop spinning? No. Even if few young people can find Syria on a globe. Or the District of Columbia.
Then there’s civics.
You know, civics. The study of how government works.
I was forced to take that in 9th grade. Then it went the way of blackboards and chalk, and what harm was there? It’s not like we wound up with a population so uninformed it might elect a virtual game show host president of the United States.
I know what you’re thinking: everything should be on the table when it comes to public education. And you’re right.
Writing? Really in a world of the text and the tweet?
Physical education? We’ve been making kids take phys-ed for forever and we have the most out-of-shape teenagers in the world. Give it up already.
Math? What, with a calculator right on my smart phone?
As for Mr. Churchill. Well, he once called “smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them” an “absolutely sacred rite.”
Now he’s talking.
Who needs art?

Ed Ackerman