California State PTA Launches Advocacy Campaign: Arts Education is SMART

Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from California State PTA

    SACRAMENTO, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- At a jointly-sponsored news
 conference, the California State PTA, State Superintendent of Public
 Instruction Delaine Eastin, the California Arts Council and Assembly Majority
 Leader Kevin Shelley are announcing plans to restore arts education to the
 K-12 public school curriculum.
     "The importance of arts education to academic and social success is
 reported in study after scientific study," states Lavonne McBroom, President
 of the California State PTA.  "It's time to face the music.  We stand together
 today with teachers, parents, students and arts advocates to launch a new
 campaign to bring the arts back to school."
     The California State PTA's SMARTS campaign is a broad-based public
 awareness and advocacy initiative that will assist local communities in
 garnering support for the arts in education.  SMARTS provides tools and
 instructional resources for PTA members, teachers and families who want more
 arts programs in California public schools.
     In January 2001, the State Board of Education adopted content standards
 for visual and performing arts education in the state's public schools.
 Citing evidence that demonstrates how academic learning and social development
 benefit from the arts, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine
 Eastin worked to establish standards to help local school districts bring art
 back to the classroom.
     Eighty-three percent of schools that responded to a California Department
 of Education survey identified lack of funding as the primary obstacle to
 developing arts programs.  "Arts education has been the silent crisis in
 California for too long," says Superintendent Eastin.  "We want to turn that
 crisis into a renaissance -- a renaissance that will revive artistic
 achievement in our schools."
     In February 2001, Assembly Majority Leader Kevin Shelley (D- San
 Francisco, San Mateo) introduced AB 869.  If passed, this new legislation
 would create an arts fund to support visual and performing arts instruction in
 the state's public schools.  Local schools would decide their specific needs,
 whether it was musical instruments, art supplies, teaching staff or
 professional development.  Like a textbook fund, the number of students at a
 given school would be a determining factor in the allocation of funding.
     Barry Hessenius, Director of the California Arts Council, is also speaking
 at the news conference to pledge the state agency's support for the California
 State PTA's SMARTS campaign and AB 869 (Shelley).
     A short medley of performances by students from Natomas Charter School in
 Sacramento will begin the press conference at 11:00 a.m.  The 10-minute
 performance will feature 20 students, between the ages of 12 and 18, and will
 showcase the school's premiere band, choir, dance, and theater groups
 including a scene from the musical "Guys and Dolls."
 
     For more information visit California State PTA Web site (www.capta.org)
 or these sites:
     The Benefits of Arts Education
     http://www.aep-arts.org/tfadvoc/advocacy/AAD99benefits.html
 
     For the text of AB 869 (Shelley)
     www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/bill/asm/ab_0851-
     0900/ab_869_bill_20010222_introduced.html
 
     Note to Spanish language reporters:  California State PTA Treasurer Carla
 Nino is prepared to give interviews in Spanish.
 
 

SOURCE California State PTA
    SACRAMENTO, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- At a jointly-sponsored news
 conference, the California State PTA, State Superintendent of Public
 Instruction Delaine Eastin, the California Arts Council and Assembly Majority
 Leader Kevin Shelley are announcing plans to restore arts education to the
 K-12 public school curriculum.
     "The importance of arts education to academic and social success is
 reported in study after scientific study," states Lavonne McBroom, President
 of the California State PTA.  "It's time to face the music.  We stand together
 today with teachers, parents, students and arts advocates to launch a new
 campaign to bring the arts back to school."
     The California State PTA's SMARTS campaign is a broad-based public
 awareness and advocacy initiative that will assist local communities in
 garnering support for the arts in education.  SMARTS provides tools and
 instructional resources for PTA members, teachers and families who want more
 arts programs in California public schools.
     In January 2001, the State Board of Education adopted content standards
 for visual and performing arts education in the state's public schools.
 Citing evidence that demonstrates how academic learning and social development
 benefit from the arts, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine
 Eastin worked to establish standards to help local school districts bring art
 back to the classroom.
     Eighty-three percent of schools that responded to a California Department
 of Education survey identified lack of funding as the primary obstacle to
 developing arts programs.  "Arts education has been the silent crisis in
 California for too long," says Superintendent Eastin.  "We want to turn that
 crisis into a renaissance -- a renaissance that will revive artistic
 achievement in our schools."
     In February 2001, Assembly Majority Leader Kevin Shelley (D- San
 Francisco, San Mateo) introduced AB 869.  If passed, this new legislation
 would create an arts fund to support visual and performing arts instruction in
 the state's public schools.  Local schools would decide their specific needs,
 whether it was musical instruments, art supplies, teaching staff or
 professional development.  Like a textbook fund, the number of students at a
 given school would be a determining factor in the allocation of funding.
     Barry Hessenius, Director of the California Arts Council, is also speaking
 at the news conference to pledge the state agency's support for the California
 State PTA's SMARTS campaign and AB 869 (Shelley).
     A short medley of performances by students from Natomas Charter School in
 Sacramento will begin the press conference at 11:00 a.m.  The 10-minute
 performance will feature 20 students, between the ages of 12 and 18, and will
 showcase the school's premiere band, choir, dance, and theater groups
 including a scene from the musical "Guys and Dolls."
 
     For more information visit California State PTA Web site (www.capta.org)
 or these sites:
     The Benefits of Arts Education
     http://www.aep-arts.org/tfadvoc/advocacy/AAD99benefits.html
 
     For the text of AB 869 (Shelley)
     www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/bill/asm/ab_0851-
     0900/ab_869_bill_20010222_introduced.html
 
     Note to Spanish language reporters:  California State PTA Treasurer Carla
 Nino is prepared to give interviews in Spanish.
 
 SOURCE  California State PTA