WHEREAS, the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) recognizes the arts as a core academic subject, allowing federal K-12 funds to support arts education; and
WHEREAS, such federal funds include Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as authorized through ESEA, as well as funds for teacher training and professional development, technology, after-school and summer programs, and much more; and
WHEREAS, Congress affirmed the importance of arts education by establishing a dedicated arts education program at the U.S. Department of Education to complement existing programs of the National Endowment for the Arts; and
WHEREAS, a child’s education is not complete unless it includes the arts; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Education’s most recent study on the status of arts education found that 1.3 million elementary school students fail to get any music instruction, 4 million students fail to get any visual art instruction and 23 million students fail to receive instruction in theater and dance; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Secretary of Education called the arts opportunity gap the widest for children in high-poverty schools and cited it as an absolute equity and civil rights issue; and
WHEREAS, the National Endowment for the Arts report “The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth” found that high-poverty students who had an arts-rich education were found to have better grade point averages, lower drop-out rates in high-school, more likely to enroll in college and get better grades in college than high-poverty students with little arts education; and
WHEREAS, performance results from the federal Arts In Education program demonstrate the ability of arts integration to boost achievement results among low-income and minority students;
WHEREAS, local arts agencies, artists, and arts institutions and organizations stand ready and willing to work with school districts and teachers to improve arts education.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that members of The United States Conference of Mayors urge local school districts and administrators to maximize the use of federal education funds available through the above-named programs, as well as state funds, to deliver high-quality arts instruction and to integrate the arts with other core subjects.