Action Alert: LAUSD Plans to Eliminate 100% of Elementary Arts Education (Updated)

Mon, 02/06/2012 (All day)

The Los Angeles Unified School District has proposed total elimination of its elementary school arts education program. To take action by contacting the Superintendent and School Board, please click here.  This unprecedented step will reverse a ten-year effort made by the District to restore arts education to its 700,000 students. 

Arts for LA opposes this drastic measure and urges parents, students, arts advocates to take action by sending a letter to your school board member and sharing the alert with your networks.  Over 1,800 people have sent letters and faxes via Arts for LA's online system since Thursday, February 2nd.

The LAUSD School Board will meet on Tuesday, February 14th to discuss the 2012/2013 budget.  The agenda for that meeting will be available on February 8th, and is expected to contain information about the School Board's proposal to eliminate arts education, adult education and early childhood education programs.  The agenda will be posted here: laschoolboard.org/02-14-12RegBd.

Update 2/8:  The LAUSD School Board has released the agenda materials for their budget meeting on Tuesday, February 14th.  Included in the packed schedule is the following agenda item:

18. Board of Education Report No. 173 – 11/12 REPORT AVAILABLE 02/09/12
Office of the Chief Financial Officer
(Adoption of Budget Balancing Plan to Address 2012-13 Deficit) Recommends adoption of a multi-phased budget balancing plan to address the projected deficit for the upcoming year. The plan includes budget reductions that fulfill the District’s fiduciary responsibility and restorations contingent upon voter approval of tax initiatives and secured shared commitments from the District’s collective bargaining units.

For the full Order of Business and to see updates, visit http://laschoolboard.org/02-14-12RegBd.

This 'multi-phased budget balancing plan' is expected to contain the elimination of the arts education, adult education and early childhood education programs, and will be immediately followed by a discussion about a potential parcel tax ballot initiative to raise revenue for the 2012/2013 school year.  Arts for LA will post details of the Chief Financial Officer's report when they are released on 2/9/12.

LAUSD School Board meetings are open to the public.  Due to heavy media coverage and major issues within LAUSD, it is expected that this meeting will draw large crowds.  Those wishing to attend are advised to arrive early and plan to stay for several hours.

 

Media Coverage of this issue:

LAist: "LAUSD Elementary Schools Could Soon Offer 100% Less Arts Education," February 3, 2012
UCLA IDEA: "Themes in the News," February 3, 2012
Bangstyle: "LAUSD Might Cut 100% of its Arts Education," February 4, 2012
Neon Tommy: "Inaugural Take a Stand Symposium Reveals El Sistema Strides," February 4, 2012
Highland Park Patch: "LAUSD Considering Total Elimination of Arts Funding," February 4, 2012
NoHo Arts District: "Los Angeles Unified School District Eliminating Arts Education?," February 7, 2012
Keep the Arts in Public Schools: "Action Alert: Arts Education on the Chopping Block at LA Elementary Schools," February 7, 2012
The Cultured Seed: "Is This the Death of Art?," February 8, 2012

Share this alert widely via email, Twitter and Facebook.  Arts for LA will provide campaign updates as they become available.

So let me get this straight,

So let me get this straight, the LAUSD allows their students get molested, but they WON'T teach them arts?!?!

Arts Importance

I don't even live in California and I sent the message to the superintendent... Getting rid of all arts programs is a terrible idea. Completely ridiculous. Studies prove that children involved in the arts actually make better grades and are more focused and involved in school. So ultimately, they would be hurting themselves even more in the long run...

The importance of arts education

When I was in high school I was going through depression and I was living in a level 12 group home because I had triggered a clause that allowed me to stay in the school I was attending where I was enrolled in choir and play production. Throughout my time living in the group home I was dealing with crippling depression so severe that I didn't wanto get out of bed, and in one instance even made me physically ill with a 104 degree fever. And the one thing that kept me going was knowing in the morning (even on Saturday) at 6am I left the building where the group home was and went to school for 8 amazing hours dduring the day. And being involved in the arts introduced me to people that had the same interests as I did. Being able to release these emotions that crippled me through the arts that was provided through the LAUSD school district. Getting rid of the arts is counterintuitive because sometimes the arts are all that are keeping kids in school, and keeping their inner demons away and giving them a reason to dream. Please reconsider this drastic budget cut, especially when things like choir and theater really don't account for much money. Instead, maybe you should turn your attention to the $250 or more a book price you're are paying for the district if you are losing money. End two wrongs at once.

Hello!  I hope you sent this

Hello!  I hope you sent this message to the School Board via the advocacy action linked above.  Thank you!

Are you kidding me? What is

Are you kidding me? What is more inportant to the wellbeing of a child than creating art?

Arts for LA

What is the reason given for Dr. Deasy's recommendation? Is it purely financial?

Hello: We haven't received a

Hello: We haven't received a response from the Superintendent or School Board yet, but we'll post it as soon as we do.  The staffer interviewed for the LAist article mentions major cuts to many areas of the district: http://laist.com/2012/02/02/lausd_elementary_schools_could_soon.php.

arts

OK, I'm going to try to get a petition started on moveon.org.

Petitions tend to be less

Petitions tend to be less effective than emails, faxes and phone calls-- those are harder to ignore!