Advocates Want State to Include Arts Ed in Application

Arts advocates in Kentucky are encouraging citizens to request that arts education be addressed in the state’s application for a federal grant. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

Arts Kentucky is asking stakeholders in education — from parents to business people — to participate in a survey recently put out by the state’s Department of Education. The survey is intended to get feedback on ideas the state is considering in its application for some of the $4 billion offered under the federal Race to the Top fund.

Arts Kentucky’s David Cupps says each state has to cite specifically how it wants to use the funds.

“In order to actually get money that can be applied toward arts programs, the state has to include that in their proposal.So, we’re trying to encourage people to let the state know that the arts are important to them in the educational system,” Cupps says. “We believe that arts is an integral part of having effective educational systems and especially in getting kids to be more creative and preparing them for the workforce of tomorrow.”

Cupps says the funding could help ensure arts education is assessed at schools statewide in the wake of Senate Bill 1 passed last spring. The legislation to revamp Kentucky’s student testing system requires the state to assess arts programs at schools.

The U.S. Department of Education has set its first deadline in December for applying states. It expects to award the first round of funds in early 2010. The department also had another dealine for states in the late Spring of 2010, with awards slated for September.