Saturday, July 13, 2013


$750,000 committed to the arts for Los Angeles schools

By City News Service, posted on the Marina del Rey Patch |

July 13, 2013 at 05:30 am   ::  A Los Angeles philanthropic group has committed $750,000 to fund arts programs in the public schools throughout the city over the next three years, it was announced today.

The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education, founded in 2011, partners with the Los Angeles Unified School District in developing results-oriented programs.

Its most-recent donation is devoted to increasing student access to the arts and supporting LAUSD art classroom teachers. It adds to the LA Fund's ArtsMatter campaign that to date has focused on advocacy and fundraising.

The effort is directly linked to the new LAUSD 5-year arts plan "Arts at the Core," as well as the new Common Core Curriculum, in which teachers must integrate the arts in all subject areas.

The joint plan will focus on creating arts integration pilot programs implemented by arts organizations with a track record of success in LAUSD schools.

The Music Center is the program's first grant recipient. Other organizations receiving funds will be announced over the next school year. Each of the partner groups will obtain a grant of $150,000 over three years.

"From these pilots, the LA Fund and LAUSD will learn how best to support and train teachers to integrate the arts so that we have creativity in every classroom," LA Fund chief Megan Chernin said "Arts integration fuels creative thinking, and research shows that students are more fully engaged in learning when the arts are used as teaching tools. Underperforming students particularly benefit from an integrated curriculum."

2cents smf ●●smf:  This gift is welcome; the arts and arts education are tremendously important, mission-critical quality education.

At the risk of curmudgeonly gift-horse-mouth-looking let us be aware, if not cynical:

  • The L.A. Fund for Public Education is an invention of Dr. Deasy and Ms. Chernin – not accountable to the voter/taxpayers or their elected representatives: the Board of Education. The Fund has acted politically in the past.
  • The money is not being given to LAUSD directly, but to other non-profits.
  • It is one-time-money, spread over three years – with no guarantee-of or commitment-to ongoing support.
  • It does not contribute a single dime to the direct operation of LAUSD arts education programs.
  • It amounts to 37¢ per LAUSD student per year.

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