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2014

The How and Why of Countywide Assessment in Napa
October 7, 2014

The Challenge: How do you set goals for a countywide advocacy effort with multiple partners and stakeholders?

The Strategy: Start with a countywide assessment to determine what arts education assets the county has and what is needs.

The Story: In December 2013 Arts Council Napa Valley, along with the Napa County Office of Education and the California Alliance for Arts Education, convened with more than 50 Napa County educators, arts organizations, nonprofits, and community leaders at an early morning breakfast to garner support for arts education in Napa County schools, launching the Napa County Alliance for Arts Education (NCAAE).  There was clear support within the group to work together to increase access to arts education in the county. The question was how. In a county with five school districts and 51 schools with a variety of needs, stakeholders and delivery systems, there was not a simple or obvious goal for their shared work.

Feedback from attendees indicated that the county had considerable...

District LCAPs show investment in arts education
August 4, 2014

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), passed last year, offers a historic opportunity for school districts to set new, locally driven goals aimed at improving outcomes for students who are often underserved in public schools.

Responding to this shift, the Alliance created a toolkit of materials, which connect documented impacts of arts education to the law’s eight new priorities. Working with our Policy Council, Local Advocacy Network and through partnerships with the California State PTA, Arts for All, Arts for LA, California School Boards Association, Nick Rail Music, Families in Schools and Ed Trust-West, we were able to engage hundreds of community members who:

  • Made school board presentations in 30 school districts
  • Served on district advisory committees
  • Provided written feedback or public comment on their district’s draft LCAP plan

We are now in the process of gathering district Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) from the advocates and districts we worked with this...

Alliance Joins LCAP Watch
June 25, 2014

The California Alliance for Arts Education is proud to partner with Education Trust-West on LCAP Watch, an effort aimed at creating public transparency into school district plans and budgets. It will gather completed LCAPs in a central location online to facilitate analysis, monitoring and accountability around these plans.

According to Education Trust-West,

“When Governor Jerry Brown dramatically reformed school funding in 2013, he also required that school districts engage in an open, transparent, and public budgeting and planning process. A central component of this is the Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP. The LCAP is the district’s 3-year plan for how it will use state funding to serve all students, including low-income students, English learners, and foster youth.

In the LCAP, the district presents its goals, actions, and expenditures. The district must describe what needs each goal addresses and the metrics being used to measure progress. After 2014-15, districts will report how the actions presented in the...

Increase Arts Funding for California
June 2, 2014

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
The State Legislative Budget Conference Committee will meet tomorrow to discuss the increase in state arts funding that was recommended by the Assembly earlier this month. This is first chance in over a decade to restore funding for the arts in our state! Please send a letter by end of day today.

Visit the Californians for the Arts website for a template and more information. Personalised letter are the most effective. Below are two sample letters sent my the California Alliance for Arts Education. 

Sample Organizational Letter: Download here. 

Sample Personal Letter: Below

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Santa Barbara Advocates Respond to District LCAP
May 29, 2014

 

As part of the new Local Control Funding Formula, every school district in California is required to release a draft Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and invite public feedback before plans are finalized on June 30.
Members of the newly formed Santa Barbara Alliance for Arts Education (SBAEA) wrote a joint feedback letter in response to SBUSD’s draft LCAP plan. Then members of the group...
Award for Local Advocacy Work in Orange County
May 27, 2014

Each year, the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators (OCMAA) present awards to honor the accomplishments of teachers who make a difference in the lives of students through arts education. In May over two hundred people filled the Samueli Theatre at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to celebrate the exemplary work being done by teachers in schools throughout the county.

This year, the California Alliance for Arts Education received the Chairman’s Award in recognition of our arts education advocacy work through the Local Advocacy Network program. Launched in 2010 the program provides local groups the leadership development, strategic assistance and online resources and communication tools they need to make effective school board presentations, earn media coverage of their issue and build partnerships with business, arts, education, parent and social justice groups in their community.

In Orange County, working with county-level partners at Arts Orange County and the County Office of Education, the program has fostered the formation of twenty-two district-based local advocacy coalitions and the adoption of arts plans in the majority of these districts.

This OCMAA...

Student Videos Envision "A world of possibility and hope"
May 16, 2014

(pictured on left) Josey McCall, senior at Inspire School of Arts and Sciences in Chico, CA.

As local districts set priorities and funding allocations to comply with California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), young advocates can offer powerful evidence of the ways arts education empowers young people to be creative problem-solvers, effective communicators and critical thinkers. The Student Voices Campaign gives students a platform to demonstrate their creative power and passion for the arts with their elected officials.

Eric Nilsson, a principal at the Inspire School of Arts and Sciences in Chico, California, whose students are participating in the campaign, says: “Arts in education is absolutely critical to all of us.  It nurtures the imagination, ignites creativity, and fosters curiosity and innovation. These things – imagination, creativity, curiosity and innovation – bring our young people alive and help them to see a world of possibility and hope.”

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U.S. Dept of Ed Supports Arts Education in Title 1 Program
April 18, 2014

At the 2014 National Title I Conference, Dr. Monique Chism, Director of Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs at the Department of Education, took a stand for arts education within the Title I program. Not only did she share her conviction that “arts education ensures that underserved students in public schools, particularly low income students and English-learners do better in school and [...] have the greatest relative improvements in academic achievement when participating in arts programs,” but she also shared a personal story of how the arts impacted her as a young person. (See video below).

This clear support from the highest levels of Title I leadership has helped to shift understanding among local, state and national school leaders about the appropriate role for arts education strategies within the Title I program. 
 
"It's not Title I funds supporting arts education – arts education can support Title I goals,” says Joe Landon, Executive Director of the California Alliance for Arts Education who spearheaded a...
Embracing Arts Education to Achieve Title 1 Goals
March 6, 2014
This week in Washington DC, at the Arts Education Partnership’s National Forum Spotlight: Educating the Next America, we will release a new white paper, A Policy Pathway: Embracing Arts Education to Achieve Title I Goals.

Co-authored with Danielle Brazell of Arts for LA and Dr. Lauren Stevenson of Junction Box Consulting, the paper documents the journey we’ve been traveling for the past eighteen months to make it possible for schools and districts to embrace arts strategies for achieving the goals of Title I and improving educational outcomes for low-income students who are often underserved in public schools. 
 
Our interest in this issue was spurred by the substantial body of research demonstrating that certain forms of arts education can be an asset to schools and districts in achieving Title I goals. Despite that research evidence and...
Securing local business partners for arts education advocacy
March 1, 2014

The Challenge: How can I get local businesses to support arts education advocacy efforts?

The Strategy: 1. Ask  2. Ask smart.

The Story: Business support for the arts is a long standing tradition, but asking a local business to get involved in your arts advocacy effort may seem like a more difficult sell.

Yet for Nick Rail Music, spreading the word about the opportunity presented by the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) just made good business sense. With six music stores in Southern California, specializing in selling, renting and repairing band and orchestral instruments mainly to schools, they understood the impact LCFF could have on music programs in local schools and, in turn on their business. At the same time, they were finding that many of their customers were simply not aware of what was at stake. 

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