Advocacy

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Why Advocacy Matters

Our voices are needed now more than ever. The challenges facing arts educators in Kansas require an active coalition of parents, students, teachers, and friends of the arts to speak out strongly on the importance of the arts in a well-rounded education.

This is a critical time for arts education at the local, state, and national level. The recent round of state budget cuts puts increasing pressure on local school boards and administrators to reduce their budgets further. Too often, these decision-makers mistakenly conclude that arts programs should be among the first to be cut back or even eliminated.

Other challenges facing arts educators include reduced contact time with students, insufficient number of highly-qualified arts teachers, and a continued narrowing of the curriculum, especially as Kansas begins to implement the Common Core State Standards. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently expressed his concern about a “focus on those things that are tested, math and reading and a little bit of science,” and asserts that “arts for art’s sake [are] hugely important.”

The arts add color and depth to a curriculum that is becoming more and more black and white and two dimensional. We can’t afford to sit back and trust that policymakers will recognize the intrinsic value of arts education. It’s essential to speak with a unified voice about the importance of a quality arts education for every child.

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