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Facts of expense


To the Editor:

In response to the letter "Costly violins" printed in the June 6 issue of the Grosse Pointe News, I would like to share the following information:

A violin, privately rented by a Monteith student, was indeed reported missing from the school. This is unfortunate, since we take every precaution to secure the building, from limiting the number of entrances that are unlocked to requiring all staff to wear I.D. badges. In most cases, our precautions are successful.

The school district owns 25 violins at Monteith, valued at $5,000, not $56,000 as the letter writer asserts. There are 223 violins available for rent by elementary students across the district. Their approximate value is $44,600. The school district provides approximately 30 violins, valued at $31,000, to middle and high school students.

These violins have been purchased over a period of 25 years, and the rental fees charged to students help pay for the maintenance and replacement of the instruments as needed. The total value of school-district violins is $75,600, far less than the writer+s estimate of $840,000.

Given the facts, I don+t think the board of education has spent "lavishly" or "exorbitantly."

Margaret Steele

Director of Fine and Performing Arts

Grosse Pointe Public Schools

Margaret Steele
June 20, 2002

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