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Re: Affordable Districts
First I would encourage you to shop around on behalf of your kids with different companies. Our local music store was charging over $100 month years ago for the rent-to-own saxophones, and we had to figure out a better option. A company from a couple hours north had been trying to get our business and earned it with better repair service AND nearly half the payment amount ($56/month at that time). I get supporting local music stores, but at least in our case the cost comparison is too drastic for it to be a good use of our taxpayers funds.
I would also say that companies like Music and the Arts might give a better deal too.
I don't disagree that prices have gotten ridiculous. Add on though to the fact that supply is VERY limited this year! Keep in mind traditional brands we've had as go-tos like Yamaha are backordered for 6 months+!
If you can find a company also that has a stock of used instruments they'll do it can also help a lot.
With saxophones in all honesty I think we've just about got to lump them in with French Horns, Euphoniums, and Tubas as school provided instruments.