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Los Al group against art education cuts Special To The Sun | Fri, Feb 18 2011 11:02 AM

A school board member and a Boeing Company employee have started the Los Alamitos Alliance for Arts Education.

It’s being billed as a gathering of parents, teachers, business leaders, arts organizations and elected officials to build support for arts education as an essential component of a quality education.

The program is the brainchild of Meg Cutuli, of the Los Alamitos Unified School Board, and Sarah Murr of Boeing.

Together they, are helping to forge the West Orange County arm of the California Alliance for Arts Education.

The project started with a recent concert at Spaghettini Grill & Jazz Club in Seal Beach.

In 2006, California received historic block grant funding for the arts in public schools.

However, because of the state’s fiscal crisis, state legislators have now allowed local districts to spend arts education grant funds on whatever they deem essential.

Many districts have moved to eliminate arts and music programs.

For this reason, the California Alliance for Arts Education has begun to build a state-wide network of local advocacy coalitions.

These local alliances are pro-actively responding to local and statewide arts education issues.

Some community leaders in Los Alamitos Unified are meeting to activate support for arts education in their school district.

While the district continues to offer well-regarded and popular programs in visual arts, dance, drama, as well as vocal and  instrumental music, current budget constraints make this an increasingly difficult challenge.

California Alliance for Art Education is a statewide organization representing a coalition of educators, art-smart parents, administrators, policymakers, arts and community organizations who advocate for quality arts education for all students in California Kindergarten-12th-grade public schools.

To read about how arts education reportedly contributes to higher test scores, and reduces truancy and dropout rates, visit the Web site www.artsed411.org.

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