Friday, May 14, 2010

Changes in Latitudes

We knew there would be work to do.  

In spite of the Biennium Budget and the 2010 Governor's Budget, we have indication that the grants programs of the North Carolina Arts Council may be cut by approximately 6%.  This represents $400,000+ reductions in the Grassroots Arts and Program Grant categories.  

This is the very reason you need to come to Raleigh for Arts Day, and we still have 25 places available.  If you have been on the fence about whether you were needed, join us in the pasture.
The Arts Education agenda item is also in motion, but in a different direction than previously stated.  Representative Becky Carney (Mecklenburg) will offer a House Education Committee substitute bill for Senate Bill 66 which requires one unit in the arts for high school graduation.  The proposal will strengthen the arts education policy momentum by requiring the State Board of Education to appoint a Task Force to consider and recommend policy, budget, and implementation plans for a K-12 arts education program in our public schools.  
The committee bill will address our collective concerns about the need for a comprehensive plan and future funding needs.  It is clear that no bill requiring any possible new funding would be approved this session.  
Let us say a shout out to all organizations whose Board's adopted the high school requirement resolution.  Those acts of advocacy leadership provided substantial backing for a better course of action. 
Please join with us as we:
Live Expectantly.  Prepare.  Take Action.

1 comment:

  1. Noel Grady-SmithMay 17, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    As I continue my work with knowledgeable educators in the Piedmont region, I understand the two walls that are closing in on our schools...leaving students and teachers sandwiched in the middle. Budget constraints are dictating sad realities within our classrooms and our workforce, while high expectations reinforced by mandated academic growth indicators squeeze in from the opposite end. The informal discussions that I have been privileged to participate in, reveal that many of the high school guidance counselors, program directors, assistant principals and principals I have spoken with over the past three months agree on what our students need to fully meet the "thinking and action structure" of the future. It is the means to that end, that positions people at odds with the idea of a new requirement.
    I agree with the move toward a comprehensive approach to Arts Education in our North Carolina schools, fully realizing that another unfunded mandate would surely fail miserably. It is imperative at this juncture that every arts educator work to move our students toward a future equipped with the significant skills that the arts develop. Coincidentally their next step must be giving language to the process, empowering parents and essential adults to not only understand the power of the arts in authentic ways, but also to become inspired and active advocates in the effort to meet the coming demands of our children’s future.
    I have lived the life of struggling for recognition for the arts in our schools for over 30 years now, I can honestly say with confidence that we are in a positive position that has been denied in years past. If we set our course for successful implementation of a thorough arts program in our schools, when financial woes are resolved, (yes, I am an optimist) we will be well positioned to achieve not only the state requirement for graduation but a means of achieving that goal.


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