The Wichita school board spent $37,500 this week on a license to allow copyrighted movies from certain studios to be shown in district school buildings, approving the item without debate Monday as part of the consent agenda. Maybe the decision will end up saving the district time and money, as officials have said, because otherwise the district is expected to pay $75 per viewing for a copyright license. But many parents and taxpayers would ask a question, especially with the district looking for budget cuts: If it costs too much to show movies in class, why not stop showing them, or at least encourage teachers to cut back? Obviously, there are classes and events in which movies can be educational, related to literature, social studies and foreign languages. But movie viewing in school also risks turning into baby-sitting, and a waste of precious time for instruction.
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