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Speak Up about How the Local Control Funding Formula Gets Implemented

Regional Meetings Held This & Next Week 

In June, California passed historic reforms to our school financing system. In the coming months, the State Board of Education (SBE) and California Department of Education (CDE) will be formulating how the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will be implemented at the district level. Community and stakeholder engagement is critical to this process.
 
Speak up at regional meetings about the positive impact of the arts on students, especially high needs students. The SBE and CDE are holding a series of regional meetings to gather stakeholder input and ideas to inform implementation of LCFF. Sessions begin at 9:30 AM and end at or before noon at each location.
 

Advocates Make the Case for the Arts in New School Accountability Measures


In recent years, the Alliance has advocated to broaden the ways that school success is measured beyond standardized tests. Under No Child Left Behind, standardized tests are the only measure of achievement and are tied to high stakes accountability measures, giving schools an incentive to “teach to the test” and to ignore the broader spectrum of what it means to provide a complete education for the whole child. 

Those narrow test-related expectations fail to encompass the responsibility our public schools have to prepare students to meet the challenges and expectations of the workforce of the 21st century. As we have moved into an economy driven by ideas and innovation, our schools must respond by providing all our students with the opportunity to develop creative skills. For this reason, the Alliance has made this issue a priority in recent years, sponsoring legislation to create a Creativity Index for schools and most recently, mobilizing advocates to weigh in on new accountability measures being considered by the California Department of Education (CDE). 

U.S. Dept of Ed Says Arts Education belongs in Title 1 Program

On June 6, 2013, the California Alliance received a copy of a letter addressed to Title I State Coordinators from Dr. Monique Chism, Director, Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs at the Department of Education. In it, Dr. Chism addresses inquiries she's received about the role of arts education within the Title I, Part A program.  

The letter says it loud and clear: "Activities that support the arts, in conjunction with other activities, can form an important part of an LEA's Title I program." 

The California Alliance, with Arts for LA and others around the country, have asked for clarification and have encouraged the U.S. Department of Education to help clarify some of the confusion that exists around Title I programs that has prevented schools and districts from implementing arts education strategies to achieve Title I goals. 

The letter goes on to explain the specific requirements of Title I funding, that the "activities must help facilitate Title I's overall purpose of improving the achievement of students who are failing or most at risk of failing, to meet the academic content and achievement standards developed by the State, and that "using funds for arts education also must be consistent with other applicable requirements" that determine eligibility.

CTC considers Dance and Theater Credential

On June 13, 2013, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) heard a series of action items that included the Teacher Advisory Panel (TAP) recommendations on how to update and improve teacher preparation in California, one of which was for the creation of a single subject credential in the areas of theatre and dance. 
 
The TAP provided a strong rational for creating these new credentials including distinct subject-specific standards within the Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards, and highlighting the intentional differences between the VAPA Dance/Physical Education and VAPA Theatre/English Language Arts standards. 
 
Multiple documents supporting the TAP recommendation from state and national dance and theatre organizations were entered into evidence. Survey data from statewide survey on the TAP recommendations also indicated strong support for immediate action on the credential recommendation.  And numerous organizations sent letters of support, inclduing the California Alliance, urging their support for this simple and powerful step. It was an encouraging showing of support for the Theatre and Dance credential. The general agreement among the commissioners, the strong public support indicated by the survey responses, the national, state, and organizational support, especially that of CFT, all point to a positive outcome by the  Commission.
 
Further action may be taken on this issue when the CTC meets again in August.
 

According to the California Dance Education Association, without such credentials and adequate teacher prep programs in Dance and Theatre, California school districts “are hard-pressed to recruit, contract and retain” highly-qualified dance and theater teacher, and thus, “sustain robust Dance and Theatre programs and fully implement the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Framework and Standards for all students in all arts disciplines.” In an Op-Ed penned by  CREATE California legacy members Malissa Feruzzi-Shriver and Amy Shimshon-Santo, Ph.D., this change would “improve learning outcomes for California students, especially for the underprivileged,” whose “lack of access to instruction in arts . . . is exacerbated by unclear arts teacher preparation and certification pathways in higher education.”
 

Response to the Governor's Revised Budget


We applaud the Governor’s commitment to restoring vital funding for our schools.  The past few years have been devastating and have taken a huge toll on our state’ ability to deliver a well-rounded curriculum.

We understand the Governor’s goal to shift away from the many categorical funding streams that have characterized school finance.  We agree local school districts should be held accountable for student results, with less focus on compliance with a myriad of complex separate funding sources.

Five Facebook Tips from an Arts Education Advocate and Social Media Whiz

The Challenge: How does a short on time local advocate keep her Facebook page current and dynamic? 

The Strategy: Use these five tips to increase the quality and number of your posts, while decreasing the amount of time you spend on Facebook! 

AB 580 Would Restore Funding to California Arts Council

 

In March, Californians for the Arts convened arts leaders and state legislators in Sacramento about the new bill AB 580, which would increase appropriations for the California Arts Council from $1M to $75M. The bill, authored by Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian (D—Los Angeles County), will be formally introduced to the state assembly when the language has been finalized. The California Arts Council is a state agency in Sacramento that supports arts programs across the state with granting and education programs. Its budget was slashed 97% in 2003, bringing California’s per-capita arts spending to 49th in the entire United States, ahead of only Kansas, which had eliminated public funding for the arts entirely. The funds from AB 580 would bring California’s per-capita arts spending up to 12th in the nation, or roughly $2.00 per person. The CAC is currently doing strategic planning to determine which of its programs would be revived if the bill passes. Learn more. 

ACTION Alert: Protect Categorical Funding for the Arts


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Governor’s proposed 2013-14 budget would eliminate almost all categorical programs in the name of local control and flexibility. While there are merits to this shift, it may also result in some students having less access to arts education. 
 
Since it’s adoption in 2007, the Arts and Music block grant has provided schools with a specific funding stream for arts education. Without these categorical funds, schools may be unable or unwilling to support programs that provide access to arts education. 


March is Arts Education Month!


The California Alliance for Arts Education and the California State PTA are sponsoring ACR 12, a concurrent resolution honoring March as Arts Education Month. The resolution will be heard in the  coming weeks in the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism & Internet Media Committee before passing on to the Assembly floor. Read the resolution here.   
 
If you would like to write a letter on behalf of your organization in support of the resolution, please use your organization's stationery and fax a letter to:

Alliance Invites Title 1 Schools to Pilot Arts Ed Strategies


As part of our ongoing work to support schools who use arts education strategies to achieve Title 1 goals, the California Alliance for Arts Education is seeking schools and districts throughout California interested in exploring the option of using Title I funds to support arts education strategies. The Alliance will provide both the support and guidance to schools and districts to help assure that they are in compliance with the expectations of the Department of Education.

Based on the example of these schools, we hope to send the message to other schools and districts throughout the state that schools can use Title I funds to support using arts education strategies to increase student academic achievement, parental involvement, and student engagement. Click here for more details. Contact us to get involved

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