Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Setting New Priorities in Education...

Americans for the Arts says:

Last month, a piece of federal legislation named “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act” (HR 1891) was introduced for the purpose of terminating 43 existing federal education programs, including Arts in Education. The Arts in Education program currently funds 57 active education projects around the country, and to date has supported more than 210 competitive grants serving students in high-need schools, as well as the affiliates of the Kennedy Center and VSA arts education programs.

The Arts in Education program also provides critical federal leadership in supporting a well-rounded curriculum throughout our nation’s public schools.

On May 25, the House Education & Workforce Committee approved HR 1891 by a party-line vote of 23 Republicans to 16 Democrats. Americans for the Arts worked with Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and other members of that committee who offered an amendment that sought to restore some of these education programs, including arts education, but that amendment failed to pass.

The full House of Representatives may vote on HR 1891 prior to their August Congressional Recess.  The Senate education committee, however, is not expected to consider HR 1891 as Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) plans on offering a separate, more comprehensive bill to reauthorize the Elementary & Secondary Education Act.

We call on arts advocates to contact their House Representative through our customizable e-alert and request that they oppose HR 1891 because it seeks to terminate the critical federal support directed to arts education. Don’t let this bill narrow the curriculum of our students.

Arts and Technology

Education Week has published a Special Report:


This report, Multimedia Transformation, examines the many ways multimedia tools are transforming teaching and learning as schools work to raise achievement and prepare students for careers that require increasingly sophisticated uses of technology. The section on the arts includes some prime examples of arts teachers and the technologies they use. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Funding of Arts Agencies

Jonathan Katz, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies' Executive Director:
This is not the last time we will hear the specious argument that funding the arts agency will compete with money for education, law enforcement, and health care. In fact, arts funding contributes to all those public purposes and state arts agencies are highly competitive in terms of cost effectiveness for the public dollar. We know the public cost of a high school dropout and we know that including the arts in the curriculum will help all students learn better and will keep them coming to classes. We know the costs of incarceration and we have known for decades that arts activities significantly reduce both violent incidents and recidivism rates. We know the costs of medication and falls and social isolation for the elderly, and we have solid research that arts activities significantly reduce all of these.