Arts education on the fence in Chicago

3 05 2009

Schools not sure about arts education funding

As reported by Ileana Ionescu

April 23, 2009

President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan provides about $100 billion for education. Also, $10.8 billion of Governor Pat Quinn’s 2010 budget goes to state education. But no one knows how much of either will support arts programs in Chicago Public Schools.

The Illinois Arts Alliance, a non-profit advocacy organization, conducted a state assessment in 2005 in which the “results revealed some troubling findings,” according to executive director Ra Joy. Some 20 percent of surveyed principals said their schools had no arts education programs.Fortunately, Illinois has made some progress over the past four years, Joy said. The Arts and Foreign Language grant program, initiated through the Illinois Department of Education, has allocated $4 million exclusively to arts education in 2009.

However, statistics show that this may not be enough for lower income neighborhoods where education programs suffer the most. So, Chicago Public Schools have turned to non-profit organizations to provide art instructors to a school system that cannot fund them, Roche said.


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