NC Legislislature supports arts integration.
It has been a tough couple years for the arts legislatively at both the State and National levels. Although things are getting better (more on the state budget later!), there has been one HUGE win for the arts and creativity in North Carolina this year. The NC Legislature has passed Senate Bill 724 on arts integration in public schools.
Rather than try to fill you in on this myself, I will let Karen Wells of Arts NC tell you herself by quoting directly from her blog:
Arts Education - Quietly, oh so quietly, Senate Bill 724 (An Act To Improve Public Education) passed the General Assembly last night and is on its way to the Governor for signing into law. Certified elementary teachers must now be prepared to integrate the arts across curriculum.
To further ensure that teacher preparation programs remain current and reflect a rigorous course of study that is aligned to State and national standards, the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, shall ensure students preparing to teach in elementary schools (i) have adequate coursework in the teaching of reading and mathematics; (ii) are assessed prior to certification to determine that they possess the requisite knowledge in scientifically based reading and mathematics instruction that is aligned with the State Board’s expectations; (iii) continue to receive preparation in applying formative and summative assessments within the school and classroom setting through technology-based assessment systems available in North Carolina schools that measure and predict expected student improvement; and (iv) are prepared to integrate arts education across the curriculum.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and her name is Representative Becky Carney (Mecklenburg) who in House Education Committee amended the original Senate bill to include arts integration. It passed the House unanimously and was sent back to the Senate last night for concurrence, passing 46-1. We also publically thank Representative Linda Johnson for her unfailing support of arts education, Senator Tom Apodaca for his assistance in appointing the Arts Education Commission, and Senators Jerry Tillman and Josh Stein for their support of the amendment in the Senate.
To read the entire bill, go here: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2011/Bills/Senate/PDF/S724v4.pdf
This is great news. Please take the time to thank these legislators for supporting the arts. It really has an impact when we take the time to thank our supporters at the Legislature, rather than only asking for help.
Here are their emails:
Thanks to these folks and Arts NC for all their hard work.