LAUSD Arts Education Branch Provides $1 Million in Additional Arts Allocations to Schools

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 23, 2015) - As part of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s continued commitment to provide excellence in visual and performing arts, the Arts Education Branch funded today schools with a total of more than $1 million.

The arts allocations, based on both the arts equity index and school enrollment, were made to support programming at the school site, purchase arts materials, equipment and textbooks; fund arts partnerships, and provide professional development and/or arts field trips. Most schools received $1,000 to $7,000, with some larger secondary schools receiving up to nearly $10,000.

The Arts Equity Index measures student access to arts instruction using a filter of 12 factors. Those include: the school’s socio-economic status, the number of foster youth and English Language Learners; the existing arts programs, arts partners, and professional development for arts teachers. These investments were funded through the Local Control Funding formula, which are state funds used to increase flexibility at the local level.

Rory Pullens, the District’s executive director of Arts Education added, “We are determined to get schools what they need when it comes to the arts. This allocation is in addition to what principals might use from their school budget or what might be included in their Title I Plan.”

There is much excitement about what this extra arts funding will mean for the students. Madison Middle School, which rated in the lowest quartile of the district’s arts equity index, received nearly $5,000. Principal Estelle Baptiste exclaimed, “Our school is in desperate need of supplies, so this will go into supplies for art enrichment programs.”

Reginald Brookens, principal of King Drew High School Medical Magnet said, “We will use these funds to start a comprehensive music program I want the students to have a full service high school with STEAM-Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS and Math.

That is Pullens’ goal. “Sometimes the deficiencies in the arts are focused on by naysayers in the communities or in the media, but LAUSD is making positive improvements,” Pullens said. “We are engaged in multiple initiatives like our Creative Industries Adopt-A-School program and our innovative Common Experience initiative that are poised to make a big difference.”

Yet, the core of arts education in L.A. Unified revolves around its students. “Our middle school will put the monies towards our dance program,” said Principal Lorraine Machado of Marina Del Rey Middle School. “We have all students participating in our annual dance recital. We are putting on a huge production this year. When students have an experience like this, it can change their life.”

About the Arts Education Branch:
Part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Arts Education Branch partners with local and national arts, entertainment and philanthropic communities to collaboratively support the growth of a robust arts culture. Nearly 650,000 K-12 students receive a comprehensive and challenging visual and performing arts curriculum. The Arts Education Branch sponsors school, family, and community arts-related programs and staff professional development for cutting-edge arts education design and implementation.

About L.A. Unified:
Second largest in the nation, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) enrolls nearly 650,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, at over 900 schools, and 187 public charter schools. The boundaries spread over 720 square miles and include the mega-city of Los Angeles as well as all or parts of 31 smaller municipalities plus several unincorporated sections of Southern California.
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Steven McCarthy, K-12 Arts Coordinator, or (213) 241-8222