Art Budget Cuts
I’d
like to inform you about the great deal of budget cuts happening everyday in our
public school systems. One of the hardest hit is in our arts and music
departments. The battle over NEA funding and other important foundations that
are set up to benefit our youths are being challenged by the government at an
alarming rate. Cutbacks in our schools budget force students in these
departments to go without necessary supplies that are essential in the learning
process. I’d also like to show you why art and music education is essential to
our children’s learning process, how it allows them to grow up to be well
rounded citizens, and why as a country, we need to fight to save these programs.

It seems to be a continuous battle for art and music educations demand for some
respect. Many legislators feel the problem in our schools is that budgets where
not amended to fit the rise of costs in our economy. And because of this there
simply aren’t simple ways to fund these programs. Other reasons for problems
in the arts and music departments budget is that even though there is inadequate
funding schools pass programs without promise of long-term support. Thus,
creating a cycle of budget problems. This is our problem. One particular agency,
out of many, the NEA is facing problems that are similar to most in the art and
music debates. "The conservatives are pressing the case that, in the time of
tight federal budgets, taxpayers cannot afford funding for the agency, which
received a $99 million appropriation for fiscal 1997. The critics also argue
that the agency continues to fund pornographic and blasphemous
projects.(Freedman,p.624)" As stated by Allan Freedman of Government and

Commerce magazine, sums up the views some government officials are having
concerning the NEA, an organization set up to benefit those in the art
community. This organization is a powerful factor in terms of art education. The
organization looks at all different types of art forms, such as poetry,
painting, jewelry, ceramics, as well as dealing with the issues of art
education. These feelings by leading government officials are being expressed in
all aspects of funding for the arts and music. The NEA is causing quite a stir
in congress, and also according to Freedman, " ... in 1995, the agency’s
foes not only managed to push through major budget cuts, but secured a pledge
from the house leadership to eliminate the agency...(Freedman,p.624)" But why?

Does our government really not have enough money? Of course it does, that’s
not the problem, the problem is that we have not reached the point where we can
have a perfect budget. Where we can distribute our funds properly. According to
the same article, Rick A. Lazio of New York, one of the chief Republican NEA
defenders in the house, " We spend more on military marching bands then we do
on the endowment.(Freedman,p.624)" There are many polices, budget and funding
issues that need to be looked over, some are out-dated, some miss used, and
others just not effective in our educational system today. Let’s face it the"perfect budget" will never happen, the economy is ever-changing and the
same goes for dealing with and handing out the funds. Both state and government
agencies who deal with the budget of our art and music programs need to deal
with what is before them. If there is not enough means of funding, then outside
groups need to make up for that. This is why organization such as the NEA need
to be supported not fought. Not everybody in our government is opposed to
adequately funding our art and music education departments, in fact according to

Arts Education and School Improvement Resources For Local and State Leaders,
"The Congress finds that -- "1) the arts are forms of understanding
and ways of knowing that are fundamentally important to education; "2) the
arts are important to excellent education and to effective school reform;
"3) the most significant contribution of the arts to education reform is
the transformation of teaching and learning; "4) such transformation is
best realized in the context of comprehensive, systemic education reform;
"5) demonstrated competency in the arts for American students is among the

National Education Goals; "6) participation in performing arts activities
has proven to be an effective strategy for promoting the inclusion of persons
with disabilities in mainstream settings; "7) opportunities in the arts
have enabled persons of all ages with disabilities to participate more fully in
school and community activities; "8) the arts can motivate at-risk students
to stay in