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Happy National Arts in Education Week!

Posted on: Sep 13, 2017

Happy #ArtsEdWeek!

In 2010, House Resolution 275 designated the second full week in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, arts education advocates and organizations across the United States come together to support the arts in education. You can read the resolution here.

 

How are the arts treated in federal education policy?

  • The arts have been a part of national education policy since 1994, beginning with the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. The Act included “arts” in federal education legislation for the first time.
  • The No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2002, specifically included “arts” within the definition of “core academic subjects.” However, it also placed a heavy emphasis on reading and math, leading to high-stakes testing. With this pressure for schools to improve test scores in math and reading, funding for arts programs took a back-seat.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in 2015, listed both “arts” and “music” as essential components of a “well-rounded education.” Through the ESSA, the arts are eligible for funding earmarked for Title I schools (schools with a high percentage of students from low-income families), increasing access to the arts for students.

 

Why do we need National Arts in Education Week?

  • Public education in the US falls under the responsibility of the states. Federal legislation is not a state or local mandate. Local efforts to support the arts in education are still necessary!
  • Legislation includes the arts as part of a well-rounded public education, but many schools can allocate money to other programs instead of the arts.
  • President Trump’s proposed budget for FY2018 has not been favorable for the funding authorized for the specific arts-friendly provisions of ESSA.

 

What can I do?