Urgent! Speak Up for Arts Education for ALL Baltimore City Schools Students!
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By signing on to this petition, I am joining with other Baltimore City parents, students, educators and community members to ask the Baltimore City Schools Board of Commissioners and CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises to dedicate funds from ESSER and Maryland Blueprint for Success ( Kirwan) allocations to implement the Fine Arts Strategic Plan adopted by the school system in 2018, ensuring equal access to comprehensive arts education that meets COMAR (Code of Maryland) standards and allows arts education to contribute to student development, school climate and parent engagement to the fullest extent possible.
In FY 2020-2021, students had access to both art and music instruction in only 61 percent of Baltimore City schools, and only 12 percent of students had access to instrumental music programs. Access to dance, theatre and media arts programs was minimal. In comparison, in other Maryland districts, all students have access to general and instrumental music and visual arts education every year, as required in COMAR, and greater access to dance, theater and media arts.
We know Baltimore City Schools has made some progress in adding Fine Arts staff, and addressing the gross, long persisting inequities in in arts education access for City Schools students. The ESSER and Kirwan funds provide an unprecedented opportunity to continue to implement the Fine Arts Plan and enable arts to fully contribute to students' academic achievement, emotional well being and talent development.
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