PRESS RELEASE - June 4, 2003
New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

SDE Invites Plans for Elementary Arts Programs

(Santa Fe, NM)—The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) today issued an invitation to public school districts to submit plans and budgets for elementary arts education programs by Monday, June 30, at 5:00 p.m. A total of $4 million in funding is available for 2003-2004 for approved plans. A technical assistance meeting will be held on Thursday, June 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the SDE, Mabry Hall, located at 300 Don Gaspar in Santa Fe, for school districts, community partners and arts educators to discuss program guidelines.

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 Dan Clavio, education administrator for the SDE’s Curriculum, Instruction and Learning Technologies (CILT) Unit.

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. The bill creates a new section of the Public School Code, The Fine Arts Education Act, to provide opportunities for elementary students to participate in fine arts activities. The act defines “fine arts activities” as music, theater, dance and the visual arts.

“This legislation advances a critical need in public education. Funding for arts education and arts education programs has steadily declined, diminishing the opportunities as articulated in this bill. We are deeply appreciative to Rep. Coll for helping to enhance the daily public school experiences of elementary school students in New Mexico,” Clavio said.

Local plans should include the fine arts education programs being taught, the way in which the fine arts are being integrated into the curriculum and an evaluation component. At yearly intervals, the local board, the SDE and a local parent advisory committee will review program goals and priorities and make appropriate recommendations to the New Mexico State Board of Education.

The available funding will support approximately 80,000 students statewide for 2003-2004. Applications will be scored, with funds distributed based on scoring priorities. Applications are available at the following web address: www.ped.state.nm.us/cilt