PRESS RELEASE - August 13, 2003
New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

SDE Awards $3.95 Million for Elementary Arts Programs

(Santa Fe, NM)-The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) announced today that 23 public school districts, including two charter schools, will share in nearly $4 million in funding in 2003-2004 focused on arts education activities, including visual arts, music, theater and dance, for elementary school students. Each district and school will receive $49.42 per participating student through the State Equalization Guarantee (SEG) appropriation.

Under the Supplemental General Appropriations Act of 2003, elementary art, music, theater and dance education were added to the public school funding formula. “This was a significant development in support of arts education, which is a vital element of quality school programs and a crucial component in student learning,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

Also in 2003, the Legislature passed and Governor Bill Richardson signed HB 12, The Fine Arts Education Act, sponsored by Rep. Max Coll of Santa Fe, creating a new section of the Public School Code that provides, through its methodology, opportunities for 80,000 of New Mexico’s 171,000 elementary students to participate in approved fine arts programs in FY 2004.

Recipient districts and schools, funding amounts and participating students include the following:

DISTRICT/SCHOOL
FUNDING
PARTICIPANTS
Albuquerque Public Schools
$1,098,211.24
22,222
Bloomfield Schools
92,563.66
1,873
Capitan Municipal Schools
13,343.40
270
Chama Valley Independent Schools
9,834.58
199
Clovis Municipal Schools
227,925.04
4,612
Cobre Consolidated Schools
35,829.50
725
Cottonwood Valley Charter School (Socorro)
7,413.00
150
Deming Public Schools
128,244.90
2,595
Des Moines Municipal Schools
3,706.50
75
Dulce Independent Schools
15,073.10
305
Gadsden Independent Schools
377,025.18
7,629
Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools
83,618.64
1,692
Jemez Mountain Public Schools
11,663.12
236
Las Cruces Public Schools
542,582.18
10,979
Los Lunas Public Schools
212,506.00
4,300
Lovington Municipal Schools
61,429.06
1,243
Pecos Independent Schools
19,916.26
403
Raton Public Schools
32,468.94
657
Rio Rancho Public Schools
247,742.46
5,013
Roswell Independent Schools
254,315.32
5,146
Ruidoso Municipal Schools
61,775.00
1,250
Santa Fe Public Schools
369,068.56
7,468
Tucumcari Public Schools
26,390.28
534
Turquoise Trail Elementary (Santa Fe)
20,954.08
424
TOTAL:
$3,953,600
80,000

Applicants prepared and submitted elementary arts education program plans and budgets in accordance with SDE guidelines that were issued on June 4, 2003. Applications were scored, with funds distributed based on scoring priorities. In all, there were 58 applicants, including five charter schools.

Districts and schools will offer arts opportunities for students through the following:

· Focusing on a variety of learning styles and engaging students who might otherwise fail
· Training students in complex thinking and learning
· Helping students to devise creative solutions for problems
· Providing students with new challenges
· Teaching students how to work cooperatively with others and to understand and value diverse cultures.