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Updated 5/4/12

The LAUSD Elementary Arts Program is scheduled for a 100 percent cut for 2012-2013. Under current budgeting, The Arts Branch administrative staff is budgeted to be reduced to one position. 10 years of growth are set to be lost, and the District may never recover. This is the time to fight before we lose what is left of what is considered one of the best elementary arts programs in the nation!

Download and distribute our Restore the Arts Flyer
http://tinyurl.com/HelpRestoreARTSinLAUSD

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Fundraising
Save the Arts, an organization dedicated to preserving arts education in LAUSD, will hold a fundraiser event and art auction for the Arts Education Branch at the Cocoanut Grove Auditorium Theatre on Saturday, June 2, 2012. All donations through Save the Arts will be used to save arts teacher positions or fund arts materials in LAUSD schools. We'd love your donations! http://www.savethearts.net/

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Friends of the Arts in LAUSD" Planning Meeting Wednesday, March 9, 6:00

Dear Educators, Parents, Families, and Friends,

You are cordially invited to join us at our first planning meeting for the "Friends of the Arts in LAUSD": a Coalition of LAUSD teachers, parents, community members, and local arts education advocates at the UTLA building on Wednesday, March 9th, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM (see address below).

Agenda will include group building and outreach/advocacy strategies for preserving and restoring Arts Education in LAUSD. Teachers, parents, families (including children and teens), support personnel, administrators, community members, and arts advocates are all welcome!

The arts are recognized as core academic subjects and an essential element of a complete and balanced education. But, with the proposed reductions to LAUSD arts programs K-12, and with the continued narrowing of the curriculum, children will have less opportunity to engage in high-quality, meaningful arts learning that will strengthen their creative thinking and problem solving skills.

Although "Friends of the Arts in LAUSD" is getting kicked off by UTLA's Arts Education Committee, we are hoping it will be a true collaborative effort of the community, and something that will serve as a unified voice for equitable, quality arts education for all students of LAUSD.

If you can't make it out next Wednesday, we will keep you informed about future meetings; we are thinking perhaps Saturday brunch get-togethers.

PLEASE forward this on to anyone who you think may be interested in becoming a Friend of the Arts.

SOME STATS & PROPOSED/POSSIBLE REDUCTIONS TO ARTS PROGRAMS 2011-12:
  • 60% reduction to the innovative Elementary Arts Program (77% total reduction since 2009-10!):
    • There are 534 elementary schools.
    • Currently, there are 220 centrally-funded Elementary Arts Teachers (in Dance, Music -- Vocal and Instrumental, Theatre, and Visual Arts), plus 38 teachers purchased with school site categorical funds, who service all 534 elementary schools. In 2011-12, this number dwindles to 78 centrally-funded Elementary Arts Teachers to service as many students as possible, at as many schools as possible.
    • As many as 130 Elementary Arts Teachers will receive a RIF (lay-off) notice. 
    • Elementary schools WILL have the option to purchase Arts Positions with categorical funds at their school sites. To find out how, please read the attached flyer about purchasing options for the Elementary Arts Program. 
    • If all 534 elementary schools worked together, spreading out the costs of the Elementary Arts Program among them, and purchased just ONE DAY ($18,686) of Arts, that would provide 107 more full-time Elementary Arts Teacher positions. If 325 elementary schools were able to purchase an additional day of Arts - TWO DAYS total ($37,372) - these extra days would provide an additional 65 full-time positions, and the Arts Program could be retained at its current level for ALL elementary schools.
  • 20% or greater reduction to secondary arts programs:
    • There are 253 secondary schools.
    • Of 241 secondary Music Teachers, about 100 will receive a RIF notice. That's a 40% reduction! About half of all secondary schools may not have any music program at all (neither band nor chorus).
    • Of 350 secondary Visual Arts/Media Arts Teachers, about 80 will receive a RIF notice (a 23% reduction) -- leaving only about one Visual Arts/Media Arts Teacher per school.
    • Currently, there are about 188 secondary Theatre/Drama Teachers. Most of these teachers are also teaching English or other subjects, and only teach a few periods of Theatre/Drama. 348 English Teachers will receive a RIF notice. It is unknown at this time how many of these 348 English Teachers are also Theatre/Drama Teachers, and therefore how many Theatre/Drama programs will be impacted and/or closed.
    • Currently, there are only about 76 secondary Dance Teachers. Most of these teachers are also teaching Physical Education or other subjects, and only teach a few periods of Dance. 109 Physical Education Teachers will receive a RIF notice. It is unknown at this time how many of these 109 PE Teachers are also Dance Teachers, and therefore how many Dance programs will be impacted and/or closed.
  • Secondary class sizes are already disproportionately large in arts "elective" classes (45-60 or more students per class). How high will class sizes rise if there might only be one or two arts teachers at each secondary school?
  • How will students be able to satisfy their graduation requirements and UC/CSU entrance requirements if there aren't enough arts classes for them to enroll in?

"FRIENDS OF THE ARTS" COALITION MEETING DATE/TIME/LOCATION:
Wednesday, March 9, 6:00-8:00 PM
UTLA Building
3303 Wilshire Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA 90010 
(northwest corner of Berendo and Wilshire)
Parking is on Berendo next to the UTLA building. Validation is provided. 
The room location will be available from the first floor security staff (please bring ID). 

For LAUSD Educators: The "Friends of the Arts in LAUSD" meeting follows the UTLA Elementary and Secondary Committee Meetings (also held at UTLA on March 9 from 4:00-6:00). Come early and participate in one of these meetings to see how you can become a more active participant in the future of your profession. Dinner and child care is provided.

Thank you!
Any questions, please contact:
Michael Blasi
Co-Chair, UTLA Arts Education Committee
blasikin@gmail.com
818 497 0223

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