PRESS RELEASE - February 17, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

Secretary of Education Garcia Praises Legislative Support Of Governor's Elementary Arts Education Initiative

(Santa Fe, NM)--Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. Garcia today praised the efforts of legislators, particularly Senator Cynthia Nava of Las Cruces, for their efforts to ensure that quality arts education programs are available in all of New Mexico's school districts.

“Through SB 582, sponsored by Sen. Nava, everyone will benefit. Funding for arts education will double. We are especially excited by the opportunity to create community partnerships and build teacher capacity for arts instruction,” said Secretary Garcia.

Governor Bill Richardson said, “This bill provides more bang for the taxpayer dollar, and ensures that every elementary school has an opportunity to provide arts education.”

Under the bill, the formula for determining arts education will change in order to allow more students to participate in arts education programs.

“We are looking forward to partnering with institutions of higher education to develop and implement quality teacher certification for programs in arts education,” said Secretary Garcia.

The PED’s new Indian Education and Rural Education Divisions will work with rural schools and schools with Native American students to develop quality arts education plans and programs.