As part of the president’s FY2011 budget request, the range of content and discipline-specific funding programs, including those for arts education, would be streamlined into three new categories: literacy, STEM, “what makes a well rounded education,” where presumably arts education would be situated.
This is a follow-up to my entry from last week: A Rapidly Growing Concern About Arts Education at the USDOE.
So, essentially what would happen here is that many of the current discipline-specific programs, many of which receive line item funding approved by Congress, would disappear as line items and be subject to administrative decisions made by the USDOE.
It’s possible that more money could go to arts education.
Conversely, it’s possible that arts education could disappear all together.
All it would take would be one tin-eared (an tin-horned) USDOE and poof, you could kiss it goodbye. At least under the current way of doing things, Congress can step in to support arts education.
Here’s the best quote, a smoking gun sort of quote that gives me great pause, as reported in Education Week:
Sandra Abrevaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Education,
defends the budget plans, noting that many of the activities financed
through the programs targeted for consolidation may well receive
I don’t know if the quote was meant to allay concerns, but if so, it certainly didn’t do the trick. “May well receive funding,” after the way Race to the Top was structured, should ring some alarm bells.
The more I think about this, the more I think that this is a big issue that the national advocacy community needs to focus on.
Click here for Obama Wants to Consolidate Curriculum Programs, by Education Week.
If you’re wondering what the heck that image below is exactly, it is a tin ear, or more precisely an antique German ear trumpet.