After No Child Left Behind was signed by President George Bush (1) in 2002, I received notification from administration that my art budget was being cut by 25%
I wasn’t asked what supplies I would choose to go with out. The budget office simply cut 25% of each item I had included in my budget order.
If I ordered 25 brushes, they erased seven brushes from the order form.
25 sets of crayons? 7 boxes would be gone.
7 bottles of yellow paint.
Yellow paint. It’s a primary color. I taught K-5. Yellow is important.
No Child Left Behind declared that Art was a core subject.
On page 534 of the PDF, as part of Title IX.
“The term ‘core academic subjects’ means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.”
I received some gushing emails over the past few days, excited that the reauthorized ESEA, aka Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) had left No Child Left Behind behind.
And that the arts were considered a core subject.
“The term ‘core academic subjects’ means English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, and physical education, and any other subject as determined by the state or local educational agency.”
Many of my art teacher colleagues received this news with mixed emotions.
Would it mean our students were now going to be tested in the Arts?
I doubt it. And it would be a terrible idea.
Left to local states to fund it, will the arts be better funded.
I doubt it.
As always, my art teacher colleagues should count their brushes, crayons and pencils to make sure they have at least one per student.
That is If there is still art, declared a core subject since 2002, being taught in the school.