Teachers Protest To Defend The Arts From Budget Cuts
Author’s Note: I don’t think there’s been a single Care2 Causes channel that hasn’t featured at least one post on the way GOP budget cuts are affecting some of the most worthwhile programs and services in America.
But when it comes to cutting education dollars, it gets personal. Our children shouldn’t be subjected to a cut-rate education just because politicians can’t be responsible with taxpayer money. All of the cuts being considered are serious to those who depend on the programs they fund, but as a lifelong music student and lover, this one hits too close to home.
An alert from Americans For the Arts points out:
The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate [recently] passed a stop-gap funding measure for FY 2011 to keep the government operational for another 2 weeks, while they work on a final appropriations bill for the rest of the fiscal year.
This legislation makes $4 billion in domestic spending cuts, including a number of federal education programs. Among the programs terminated in this legislation is the $40 million Arts in Education program (AIE) through the U.S. Department of Education which supports model and professional arts education grants and funds VSA and the Kennedy Center arts education program as well.
This termination of the Arts in Education program is alarming, and all the more so because of the drastic budget cuts the National Endowment for the Arts underwent a few weeks earlier in the House legislation that would reduce its budget by 26 percent, the largest cut in 16 years!
“I understand the urgency to identify savings in federal expenditures, but this should not be done by further diminishing a sparse curriculum,” said a concerned music teacher from the Knox County School system in Tennessee.
“Music is the ultimate vehicle for teaching 21st century skills. Students with the opportunity to express creativity develop talents that will benefit them throughout the rest of their lives,” she continued. “In addition to its cultural value, music teaches everything from coordination to team cooperation to self-discipline, and provides a variety of unique avenues for intellectual growth.”
(If you need additional reasons, check out: Why You Should Give A Damn About Arts Funding)
We need to let Congress know that these cuts and terminations are unacceptable, and they should restore them in the next phase of FY 2011 funding legislation which Congress will attempt to finalize very soon.
Image Credit: Flickr - nathanrussell