Arts North Carolina has a long history of supporting policies and positions that are favorable for the Arts and that support equitable access to a Comprehensive Arts Education. We will always seek partnerships with individuals and organizations that share the values embodied in our mission and vision.
Arts NC is proud to be a partner organization of the North Carolina Arts Education Leadership Coalition (NC AELC), whose member organizations represent the full range of Arts Educators in North Carolina. The Member Organizations of the NC AELC are NC Music Educators Association (NCMEA), NC Dance Education Organization (NCDEO), NC Art Education Association (NCAEA), NC Theatre Conference (NCTC), NC Theatre Arts Educators Association (NCTAEA).
We have come together behind a unified NC AELC Position Statement in regards to K-3 Class Size Requirements, the appropriation of state resources, and their effects on Arts Education in North Carolina. The NC AELC Positon Statement is a clarification of what we know about the issue, the principles we support, and the actions for which we advocate.
What we KNOW:
- It has been an accepted practice for many years that North Carolina has provided teacher allotments and K-3 class size limits that allowed flexibility for local school districts to employ a variety of teachers including positions in visual art, theatre, dance, and music, as well as health, physical education, and world languages.
- These positions, known recently as “Program Enhancement Teachers,” do not have separate allocated funding.
- On June 28, 2017 a technical corrections bill was adopted which stated the INTENT to use data collected during the 2017-2018 school year to establish a separate allotment of funding for Program Enhancement Teachers for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
- If reductions in K-3 class size requirements take effect as scheduled for the 2018-2019 school year without a separate allotment for Program Enhancement Teachers, there may not be adequate funding for many of those positions in many school districts.
What we SUPPORT:
- We EMBRACE the nationally recognized and federally mandated standard (Every Student Succeeds Act) that music and the arts are an essential part of a well-rounded education for every child.
- We SUPPORT North Carolina school districts’ ability to offer accessible and equitable arts instruction as defined in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study by qualified, licensed arts educators.
What we ADVOCATE:
- We SUPPORT the intent of the NC General Assembly and ENCOURAGE legislators to FULLY FUND Program Enhancement Teachers in Arts Education (Dance, Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts) WITHOUT DELAY.
- We CAUTION that May 2018 may be TOO LATE to take action, as many qualified arts educators could move to other states where they feel more secure in the knowledge that their position will be funded.
Now is the time to start having these conversations in your community. Talk to your Principals, School Boards, and Superintendents to find out what these changes will mean in your school districts. Before you can have a conversation with your NC State Senator or Representative you will want to know:
- How will these changes impact your local school systems?
- Will student be afforded the same equitable access to arts education?
- Will arts educators have the same access to resources such as materials and designated classrooms for arts instruction?
Arts NC will continue to work with our partners to determine the best way to communicate concerns and advocate for solutions using the appropriate message, to the appropriate legislators, at the appropriate time.
Remember, at all times to keep your inquiries and your input to your local officials and elected representative clear and SIMPLE, be respectfully INCLUSIVE of all people and opinions, and always be POLITE and POSITIVE. We all want a better North Carolina for future generations and it is in that spirit that we will find new ways forward together.
Also, to be sure that we can all work together in a unified way to support the Arts and Arts Education be sure to tell all your friends to GO to ARTSNC.ORG and:
- SIGN UP for our Mailing List to stay informed and connected
- JOIN UP as a Member to Support the Value of the Arts
- SPEAK UP by Answering Calls to Action and becoming an Arts Advocate
- SHOW UP on May 22 & 23, 2018 for ARTS DAY, our annual Conference of Arts and Advocacy
- REV UP your ride with a Creative State License Plate to show your support wherever you go.