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Alliance Invites Title 1 Schools to Pilot Arts Ed Strategies


As part of our ongoing work to support schools who use arts education strategies to achieve Title 1 goals, the California Alliance for Arts Education is seeking schools and districts throughout California interested in exploring the option of using Title I funds to support arts education strategies. The Alliance will provide both the support and guidance to schools and districts to help assure that they are in compliance with the expectations of the Department of Education.

Based on the example of these schools, we hope to send the message to other schools and districts throughout the state that schools can use Title I funds to support using arts education strategies to increase student academic achievement, parental involvement, and student engagement. Click here for more details. Contact us to get involved

Big Shoes to Fill: Taking Over for Ron Bolles

 

Leadership transitions can be hard on grassroots volunteer efforts, and for Keith Davis, who recently assumed the role of lead organizer for the South Bay Alliance for Arts Education, there was the added challenge of having some very big shoes to fill when Ron Bolles stepped down. 

“Ron had worked as a highly respected VAPA teacher and Facilitator in our  district for thirty- seven years. He’s known as a passionate and credible advocate for the arts in the community,” according to Keith.

Keith himself is a longtime supporter of the arts in South Bay, serving as the marketing director and then Executive Administrator of the San Repertory theater for a decade, then as the manager and go-to guy for  [name] both Eastlake and San Ysidro High schools' state of the art theaters. He joined the South Bay Alliance for Arts Education in 2011.

Located in southern San Diego County, the South Bay group is one of thirty coalitions spread across California that, with resources from the California Alliance, builds support for arts education in local schools. In their first year, the group undertook a Facebook campaign that activated local advocates and made elected officials sit up and take notice; the group built strong relationships with school board officials by offering solutions and taking a collaborative rather than oppositional approach at public meetings; and they used local music events to highlight the benefits of arts education and bring their message to the larger community.

Impact of Governor's Proposed Budget on Arts Education

Governor’s Budget Favors Local Autonomy and Eliminates Most Categorical Funding

The Governor’s budget proposal, released last week, includes major changes to K-12 education finance. The proposal gives local districts greater flexibility and autonomy in how they use state funds, putting more decisions in the hands of local school boards, with fewer state restrictions and requirements. According to an analysis of the proposed budget by Alliance Lobbyist Kathy Lynch, the Governor’s proposal,

“Provides $1.6 billion for the "Local Control Funding Formula". The proposal is largely the same as Weighted Student Formula proposed last year in that the Administration proposes to eliminate the majority of categorical programs, consolidate funding with revenue limit apportionments, and provide funding through a new formula that will be phased in over a period of seven years. The proposal will be coupled with a system of accountability measures both at the state and local level.”

Proposition 30 Passed. What's Next?

 

We did it! Californians voted to pass Proposition 30 (53.9% to 46.1%) and reinvest in our schools. Thank you for joining our efforts and ensuring that this essential funding for education passed.

Proposition 30 will raise the state sales tax a quarter-cent for four years and increase the income tax of the state's highest earners for seven years. The 2012-2013 California budget depends on that revenue.  

In a letter sent to the Governor this week,  Joe Landon acknowleged the importance of this victory as well as the work that still lies ahead:

 

"Our hope is that we can begin build upon this moment, as we look ahead with a renewed sense of the learning opportunities the arts offer across the curriculum, both through instruction in the discreet subjects of dance, music, theater and visual arts, as well as through arts integration, career technical education, and other aspects of a comprehensive educational system."

Amador County Arts Council Launches Advocacy Effort

 
Amador County is one of five local arts councils to join the Alliance’s Local Advocacy Network this fall. The program offers empowers local communities to keep arts programs in schools by providing the strategic assistance, leadership development and communication tools. The five local councils support from bring a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to this work. Each one hosts a breakfast event for community leaders to gather and unify local support for arts education. 
 
Jack Mitchell, Publisher of the Amador Ledger Dispatch was one of the hosts for launch event in Amador. His inspired remarks are included here. Thank you and welcome to all of our new allies! 

November State Legislative Elections

Alliance Lobbyist Kathy Lynch provides an analysis of the preliminary results of November 6 election. 
 
On November 6, 2012, Californians went to the poll to elect representatives from all 80 assembly districts and 21 of the 40 senate districts (odd-numbered plus one even-numbered special election).  Debra Bowen, Secretary of State, had reported a record number of voter registrations for this election (18,245,970 people or 76.7 percent of those eligible to vote.  This is an increase of 2.1 percent over the 17,304,091 registered in 2008.  Among those registered for the 2012 general election,43.7% registered as Democrats, 29.4% registered as Republicans, 20.9% expressed no party preference, and 6.0% registered as American Independent, Americans Elect, Green, Libertarian, or Peace and Freedom Party).
 
Results of the election will be certified on December 7, 2012.  As of Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012, many votes by mail and provisional ballots have not been counted.  Before the election the Assembly was composed of 52 Democrats, 27 Republicans, and 1 Independent. As of this morning, Democrats were leading in 54 districts and Republicans were leading in 26.  The Senate was composed of 25 Democrats and 15 Republicans before the election.  As of this morning, Democrats are leading in 14 districts and Republicans are leading in 7 (Senators in odd-numbered districts remaining in the Senate include14 Democrats and 5 Republicans, thus the potential composition is 28 Democrats and 12 Republicans).  As the election currently stands, there is the potential of the Democrats holding a supermajority in the California legislature.  A supermajority is capable of passing tax legislation without the threat of a Republican veto (the Senate needs 27 seats to achieve supermajority status).

Alliance Launches 5 Local Coalitions through Arts Council Partnership

 

As a result of a new partnership with the California Arts Council, this fall local arts councils in Amador, Fresno, Mendocino, Placer and Santa Cruz joined the Alliance’s Local Advocacy Network.

The program offers empowers local communities to keep arts programs in schools by providing the strategic assistance, leadership development and communication tools. Since its launch four years ago, the network has helped local advocates build strong relationships with their local school boards, participate in the creation of a district arts plan and earn media coverage and broad support for arts education.

The five local councils support from bring a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to this work. Each one hosts a breakfast event for community leaders to gather and unify local support for arts education. Read about the recent launch in Amador County. 

Guest Blog: Surveying Candidates for State Legislature

Guest Blog By: Jackie Koppell, Director of Programs, California Arts Advocates
 
California Arts Advocates (CAA), in partnership with Californians for the Arts (CFTA), is thrilled to announce its first candidate survey.  Thank you to the California Alliance for working with us to help spread the word! 
 
CAA/CFTA has sent surveys to all of the state Assembly and Senate candidates in an effort learn about their understanding of and position on the arts.  The four questions (see below) cover the economy, tourism, education, and community development. 
 
As statewide advocacy organizations, we decided to focus on the Assembly and Senate candidates because the work that CAA/CFTA does tends to focus on issues within our state, and often overlaps with issues that these legislators work on.  If successful with this survey, we may reach out to federal candidates in the future as well.

Electing Strong Arts Education Leaders

 

 

 

 

 

How do you find strong arts education leaders? Ask the right questions.

Where there’s a strong arts education advocate, chances are there is also a person who may love to draw or play the guitar or who knows the joys of running cues for a play. It doesn’t take much to awaken that passion -- you just have to ask.

For the upcoming election on November 6th, the California Alliance asked candidates about the role of the arts education in addressing critical issues like closing the achievement gap, reducing the dropout rate and preparing students for college eligibility and the 21st century workforce. But we also asked them about their personal connection to the arts because we’ve found that that very often that experience instills a strong commitment to this issue in people.

Candidate Surveys Make the Arts Matter in Elections

The Challenge: How does a well-known arts council reinvigorate its arts education messaging?

The Strategy: Seize moments of momentum like a statewide Candidate Survey Project in a big election year.

The Story: The Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County has a long history of support for arts education, beginning in 1980 when it launched the nationally recognized SPECTRA program (Special Teaching Resources in the Arts) in response to Proposition 13.

Today, according to a recent white paper by the Council, the community has “the local expertise and skills needed to make a major impact in this field, numerous case studies to draw upon, a supportive community of parents, teachers, school administrators and arts organizations and hundreds of teachers, artists, and administrators who have received quality professional development in arts education.” Yet, like so many communities, its arts education offerings are also dependent on the ebb and flow of financial resources.

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