LAUSD Board Unanimously Approves Martinez’s Groundbreaking Resolution Supporting Arts Education

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 9, 2012) - By a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education approved a landmark resolution authored by Board Member Nury Martinez that establishes the arts as a core subject for LAUSD. The resolution also requires the Superintendent to develop a plan for incorporating integrated arts instruction across curricula as the District prepares to implement Common Core Standards.

A passionate advocate for the arts, Martinez framed her resolution as both a way for the District to better nurture students’ creativity and imagination, skills vital for success in the 21st century workplace. In addition, she believes the resolution will help provide exposure to rich arts experiences and the benefits of a rigorous, standards based arts instruction for all students, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances.

“For me, the issue of restoring and growing arts education and integrated arts instruction is a matter of social justice and educational equity,” she said.

To help make her case before the board, Martinez assembled a notable group of arts supporters, including entertainer and arts patron, Cheech Marin and the actress Monica Rosenthal from the hit television program “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
“I urge you as an alumnus of this system, whose art curiosity was peaked in the third grade, to support the artist,” said Marin, who attended Trinity Street School.

“We need to take the first step in making arts core (curriculum),” added Rosenthal.

Board Member Steve Zimmer, a co-sponsor of the resolution, along with Board Member Bennett Kayser, told his colleagues: “What’s so important about Ms. Martinez’s resolution is that it is our statement about arts as part of the core curriculum.”

Board Member Marguerite LaMotte, said “art saves lives, changes lives.”

“We must find some way to expedite keeping arts in the schools,” she added.

The resolution specifically asks the Superintendent within five years to match or exceed arts funding to levels not seen since the
2007-08 academic year, just prior to the series of massive budget deficits that crippled District finances across-the-board. It also asks that arts teachers be better protected from layoffs in the future.

In summing up the importance of her resolution, Martinez posed this question from the podium: “How can we not afford to stand and make a difference in education for all our children?”

Contact: Thomas Waldman (213) 241-6766