Maintain the Integrity of the Arts Instructional Programs of LAUSD

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    Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Members: Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, Monica Garcia, Tamar Galatzan, Richard Vladovic, Yolie Flores, Nury Martinez, Steve Zimmer; Superintendent Of Schools, Ramon C. Cortines
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(Para una traduccion en espanol, por favor consulte: http://lausdartsed.blogspot.com/, 12/3/09)

Background:
On February 9, 1998, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education unanimously adopted a Resolution to Restore Arts Education as an essential part of the core curriculum for all students. In 1999, the Board adopted the Arts Education Plan, which ensures comprehensive, quality education in Dance, Music, Theater and Visual Arts by providing resources necessary to implement arts programs to every child, K-12.

Since that time, articulated arts programs have been established across the District from elementary to secondary serving as a powerful factor in motivating student interest in school. Through the implementation of the Elementary Arts Program, which was expanded in the 2009-2010 school year to include all elementary schools, over 3 million elementary students have received arts instruction by highly-qualified arts educators. LAUSD is the only large urban district in the United States that provides an equitable standards-based arts education for all of its elementary students by giving them the opportunity to experience all of the four arts disciplines through the Elementary Arts Program.

Yet in June of 2009, after ten years of growth and restoration of arts education, the LAUSD Board of Education passed a three-year budget that includes a 50\% cut to the Elementary Arts Program for the 2010-2011 school year, and the elimination of the entire Program for 2011-2012. Superintendent Ramon Cortines and Board of Education Members have demonstrated support for the District Arts Programs in the past but are now faced with difficult budget decisions.

Full Petition Text:
"We can't afford to cut Arts Education for our children and the children of the future!!!

* We have come too far as a District - not only in restoring arts education, but in becoming a nationally recognized leader in arts education - to step back now.

* Arts are a primary, central, academic core subject that must be funded as consistently as math, language arts, science and history/social science.

* The proposed cuts to the Elementary Arts Program will have deep ramifications to arts programs at the secondary level, resulting in displaced teachers and leaving students less prepared for arts instruction in middle and high school.

* We do not think it reasonable for LAUSD students and employees to shoulder the entire responsibility for our statewide budget deficits with salary
reductions, staff reductions and cuts to vital instructional programs and support services. We must all share the obligation of the education of our children.

* We advocate that non-essential, non-school based services, and any non-instructional program be considered for cuts prior to approving any reductions to instructional programs, including the Elementary Arts Program.

* We advocate that the LAUSD Education Foundation (501(c)(3) non-profit) be utilized to help support and preserve the integrity of the Elementary Arts
Program.

* We advocate for statewide and local legislative changes, including local parcel taxes, in order to create more sustainable and locally controlled funding sources for education.

* We as concerned citizens, in endorsing the principles and proposals set forth above, are holding Superintendent Cortines and the Board of Education to their commitment to arts education, and to the consistent funding of LAUSD Arts Education Programs now and into the future."

This petition was written by LAUSD Elementary Arts Teachers, November 2009