Arts education included in elementary and secondary education act
- January 17, 2002
ARTS EDUCATION INCLUDED IN ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY
o Approximately $7 Million Available
On January 8, President Bush signed into the law the
biggest overhaul of education law since passage of the
1965 Elementary and Secondary Education
Act. The new act, titled No Child Left Behind,
includes provisions long sought by arts education
advocates and marks a major victory for arts
learning. For example, the new act includes a general
definition of "core academic subjects," which includes
the arts. That the arts were given
equal billing with reading, math, science, and other
disciplines in this definition is a huge improvement
in national educational policy. This means that
whenever national education programs (such as teacher
training, school reform and technology programs are
targeted to "core academic subjects," the arts
may be eligible to receive federal funds. Such a
broad recognition of the arts has never before been
included in the Elementary and Secondary Education
For the arts, an important section of the bill is
"Assistance for Arts Education" (Title V, Section 55).
* To support systemic education reform by
strengthening arts education as an integral part of
the elementary school and secondary school curriculum;
* To help ensure that all students meet challenging
state academic content standards and challenging state
student academic achievement standards
in the arts; and
* To support the national effort to enable all
students to demonstrate competence in the arts.
Entities eligible for U. S. Department of Education
grants are defined as state educational agencies,
local educational agencies, institutions of
higher education, museums or other cultural
institutions, and any other public or private
agencies, institutions, or organizations.
o FUNDING AVAILABILITY
Funds available under "Assistance for Arts Education"
may be used for projects that include:
* Research on arts education.
* Planning, developing, acquiring, expanding,
improving, or disseminating information about model
school-based arts education programs.
* Development of model state arts education
assessments based on state academic achievement
* Development and implementation of curriculum
frameworks for arts education.
* Development of model inservice professional
development programs for arts educators and other
* Supporting collaborative activities with federal
agencies or institutions involved in arts education,
arts educators, and organizations representing
the arts, including state and local arts agencies
involved in arts education.
* Supporting model projects and programs in the
performing arts for children and youth through
arrangements made with the John F.Kennedy Center for
the Performing Arts.
* Supporting model projects and programs by Very
Special Arts which assure the participation in
mainstream settings in arts and education programs
of individuals with disabilities.
* Supporting model projects and programs to integrate
arts education into the regular elementary school and
secondary school curriculum.
o STATE ART EDUCATION ASSOCIATIONS SHOULD ADVOCATE
WORK WITH LOCAL AND STATE POLICYMAKERS
However, there are still significant challenges. The
authorization bill gives increasing authority to state
education agencies to determine how federal
funds are spent. Also, schools will now be required to
test students in grades three through eight every year
in math and reading, with low-performing schools
facing serious penalties. The high-stakes
emphasis on reading and math may create a challenge
for arts educators. With these changes in place, it
will be more important than ever that arts
education advocates work with education policymakers
at the local and state levels to take advantage of new
You may access the "No Child Left Behind" Act and
peruse the specific sections that pertain to arts
education mentioned above at
You are also encouraged to pass on this important
information to teachers, administrators, parents,
community members, and all other stakeholders
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