Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ARTS Education = MORE Than You Think

In today's lead-up to arts advocacy season, consider these things about ARTS North Carolina's Legislative Agenda item to pass a high school graduation requirement in the arts:
  • The initiative is fully supported by the North Carolina Arts Council agency and their Board of Directors and the Department of Cultural Resources, Linda Carlisle Secretary. DCR has placed the requirement on their Legislative Agenda and is taking a leadership role in the passage of Senate Bill 66 in the North Carolina House of Representatives in the Legislation Session beginning May 12.
  • Because we passed the bill last year in the Senate (SB 66) we are 50% up the mountain.
Passing the requirement would:
  • Elevate the arts in practice to a core academic subject as stated in the Learning Framework for 21st Century Skills,
  • Insure public education equity because every student has engagement with the arts, and
  • Provide more incentives for federal, state, and local support of public school arts programs
The high school requirement is one action step in a comprehensive arts education program for public school in North Carolina. Additional policies to be considered once the high school requirement is passed include a middle school elective requirement, statewide policy for arts education in K-5, higher education teacher training in arts integration, support of A+ Schools, and funding for community and after-school programs that center on arts education.

Students who graduate from high school must have six electives. The law means one "former" elective in music, theatre, dance, or drama becomes a requirement. Additional teachers are not required; hires would now need to include people certified in arts education.

It will take five years to fully implement. The budget will improve in that length of time.
Want to Help?
  • Attend ARTS Day May 18 & 19 and join with hundreds of North Carolinians in speaking to your Legislators about the requirement: artsday.artsnc.org. Registration is now open. Be sure to register by April 30th, as prices go up after that date.
  • If you belong to an arts or professional organization, pass a resolution in support of the requirement. A template can be found at www.artsnc.org/advocacy and participants are asked to submit the resolution on their letterhead and attach a listing of their Board of Directors by no later than May 7.

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