The L.A. Unified school board will vote on a measure Tuesday that would make arts education a "core subject," prohibit further cuts to the arts, and ultimately restore some money to arts programs.
The measure, sponsored by board member Nury Martinez, would require Superintendent John Deasy to return to the board by July 1 with a plan on implementing "Arts at the Core" that includes funding strategies, ways to collect data to measure student learning through the arts, professional development for instructors, and benchmarks for success.
Arts education has found itself on the chopping block during district budget discussions as state support for it has declined in the last several years.
This measure requires a restoration of arts education funds to 2007-8 funding levels within five years. Within 10 years it aims to increase the number of arts teachers to match similar urban school districts so that each middle school can offer at least three arts disciplines.
The measure also would create budgeting provisions to help cover teachers' costs for arts supplies and professional development. In addition, it would provide policy guidelines for research-based arts education strategies to help "bridge the achievement gap" and improve students' English and math scores.