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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Mayor Promises to Restore Arts Corps Money

Posted by on Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Last night at the Youngstown meeting, Mayor McGinn said the recent defunding of Arts Corps was an "unintended consequence" of changes in implementing the Education and Families Levy, West Seattle Blog reports:

Arts Corps executive director Elizabeth Whitford said that process required agencies to “show (they) have access to attendance and academic data … Something went wrong in that process and there needs to be a public acknowledgment of that.” The 2004 Families and Education Levy, Whitford said, supported Arts Corps classes, including some taken by the Vicious Puppies Crew breakdancers whose performance had preceded the mayor’s appearance. “African-American and Latino youth re half as likely to have an arts education as their white peers,” she said. “(The levy) has worsened that.”

In the end, after program participants past and present spoke, the mayor said “there is more than one pot of money in city government” for programs like the ones Arts Corps offers, so he is “making a commitment” for his office to find something to help ensure the 800 participants don’t go unserved.

Says Whitford in an email this morning, "That's obviously a relief for us and the 800 Arts Corps students impacted. That said, it is not a structural or systemic solution, so it leaves our fellow arts education and youth development organizations still in the cold, as well as questions around future implementation. I said as much in my response, and I'm very interested in continuing to bring light to the larger issues at hand, as well as to stand in support of any other key actions/messages on behalf of high quality organizations providing key supports for youth and their success in school that were unwisely cut out of this family and education levy."


Comments (5) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
Time to phone our state legislators.

It's what everyone does when school funding gets cut.
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
So basically, after promising a role for the arts in the levy -- followed by a process that does not allow for the arts, the Mayor is finding money somewhere (besides the levy) to help Arts Corps. Great for Arts Corps, but agreed, it does nothing to address the more important structural issue of the role of the arts in helping low income students achieve success. And, I don't think the ommission was "unintentional." We heard what turned out to be an empty promise to include the arts in the levy once before.... Seriously?
Posted by Miguel54 on March 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
Good point, @2. Let's just kill the Tunnel and our funding problems go away.
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 14, 2012 at 4:06 PM · Report this
I'll be happier when he fires the narrow-minded incompetent in charge of the Office of Education and hires somebody who understands that academic achievement exists beyond standardized "math & reading" scores.
Posted by d.p. on March 14, 2012 at 7:09 PM · Report this
You know, the more I think about it, this is what we get when we have politicians (former Parks director turned education expert) making decisions instead of teachers, who actually work with students. Teachers understand that learning is a process. Politicians want outcomes / results. I hope the "math and reading bubble test levy" as it should be re-named, includes ample instructions on sharpening #2 pencils.
Posted by Miguel54 on March 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this

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