Protect the Arts Education Branch of the Los Angeles Unified School District sign now

In the current economic state, LAUSD is faced with difficult choices of how to meet budget requirements.
Granted, there are many administrative positions within LAUSD that are less than efficient and should be
consolidated, and moving administrators back into the classroom may be a sound idea in many cases. However,
a drastic restructuring, reduction, or decentralization of administrative support within the LAUSD Arts
Education Branch (AEB) will have direct negative consequences on the education of LAUSD students. This is
an example where a scalpel, not an ax, must be used when making cuts. As concerned teachers, parents,
students, community members, and citizens, we urge the Board Members and the Superintendent to take
extreme care in preserving the core administrative structure of the Arts Education Branch.

     The Arts Education Branch, under Richard Burrowsв leadership, is responsible for overseeing and implementing
LAUSDвs Arts Education Plan, Board of Education Resolution June 22, 1999, which includes coordinating and
developing the Elementary Arts Program, the largest, most comprehensive and widely respected public arts
program in our nation. This Program is dedicated to the goal of providing every LAUSD student with a
вcomprehensive, quality visual and performing arts education program that includes instruction in dance, music,
theatre and visual arts using a sequential standards-based curriculum taught by qualified teachers and
incorporates the cultural resources of the community.в

     The quality and rigor of our current Elementary Arts Program is a result of a collaboration between Elementary
Arts Teachers and AEB administrators. Elementary Arts Teachers are currently teaching in 392 schools, and
provide their services to a maximum of (7) seven schools throughout the year. Arts Specialists, the discipline-
guiding administrators of the AEB, provide vital stewardship to Elementary Arts Teachers. Scheduling would
become extremely difficult without a central administrator creating the master calendar; and maintaining a
common drive, with the shared input of arts teachers, would also be compromised with a decentralized
administration. Left to the guidance of site-based administrators or a decentralized base of administrative
support, it would be extremely difficult for the District to continue to develop and implement an arts program
that effectively pursues the outcome of providing highly qualified arts educators and quality arts curriculum to
all LAUSD students in all elementary schools.

     Dismantling the administrative structure of the Arts Education Branch and Elementary Arts Program might also
compromise a $600,000 grant made by the Wallace Foundation in 2008. This grant was given to support
LAUSD in development of a second 10-year plan for arts education, to build on its first successful decade of
expanding arts instruction throughout the district. The Wallace Foundation, which ranks among the nationвs top
40 foundations, has dedicated $1.8 million countywide to "support activities crucial to strengthening
coordinated arts learning efforts and to bring high-quality arts experiences to more young people in Los Angeles
County". We urge you to do everything in your power to preserve this partnership with the Wallace Foundation.

How the Arts Education Branch supports LAUSD students:

в Supports the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the California Department of Education Code which
recognize the Visual and Performing Arts as core academic subjects.
в Imagine every student in LAUSD receiving high quality arts instruction in all four arts disciplines -
dance, music, theatre and visual arts. With this goal in mind, the nationally recognized Elementary Arts
Program has grown and developed in each of its 10 years. After 10 years, full implementation is in
sight. Elementary Arts Teachers are now in 80\% of all L.A.U.S.D. Elementary Schools. Any cuts in arts
teachers or days spent per school would deny students equal access to rigorous standards-based and
sequential instruction in the arts.
в Currently 165,000 students per week receive instruction in all four Arts forms.
в Currently we provide ongoing, standards-based professional development in best teaching practices,
ELD, SDAIE, Language Arts, CRRE, and differentiated instructional techniques to over 4500 classroom
teachers every week.
в Arts teachers are a unique resource to classroom teachers and can introduce teachers to creative ways to
infuse arts into the curriculum to make learning more accessible.
в The Arts give classroom teachers unique opportunities to assess and connect to students in a creative
context, where students' strengths and personalities truly emerge.
в Arts instruction teaches strategies for higher order thinking skills and creative cognitive development.
в The arts program directly supports literacy instruction in OCR and across content areas aligning with
comprehension strategies and skills, as well as writing and literary elements strands.
в The Arts develop listening and speaking skills.
в The Arts foster collaboration and a sense of community.
в Arts instruction develops empathy through connections and exploring many perspectives.
в The Arts bring curriculum to life and motivate students to read, enjoy stories, and enjoy school!
в The Arts make learning fun and personal.

A fully functioning Arts Education Program provides:

в Opportunities to contribute to the definition of todayвs culture and civilization.
в Opportunities for creative thinking and expression that are missing from many classroom activities and
в Opportunities to create which build confidence and self-esteem. That, in turn, sets up students for
success in all other areas.
в Engagement of learner in all areas of curriculum via high level of motivation.
в Exposure to professional artists and the arts.
в Improved test scores as students are highly motivated to come to school with an openness to learning.
в Increased attendance - the arts might be the only reason many kids want to come to school.

     The arts are an indispensable part of a decent, rigorous education. They are a powerful factor in motivating
student interest in school. Arts participation takes many forms and confers a wide range of benefits on both
individuals and communities. These benefits will be most fully realized if people have meaningful arts
experiences as children. At the acceptance of the Wallace Grant, former Superintendent David L. Brewer spoke
of the District moving вcloser to the guarantee of every Angelino student's right to a comprehensive, coherent,
sequential arts education". We need to make sure the District continues to pursue this goal on behalf of our
students. We must maintain the administration of the Arts Education Branch in order to make this goal
achievable. Students will suffer without your careful decision making and understanding. Even amidst the
current challenges facing all of us, we have great HOPE for the future of LAUSDвs Arts Education Program.
Please keep this Program alive. Thank you.

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Rachelle KerrBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Members: Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, Monica Garcia, Tamar Galatzan, Marlene Canter, Yolie Flores-Aguilar, Julie Korenstein, Dr. Richard Vladovic; Superintendent Of Schools Ramon C. Cortines; Chief


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