To Fund, or Not to Fund?

California public schools are facing a huge budget crisis. South Bay residents were opposed to the idea of eliminating arts education, though their reasons differed.

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  • Written by
    Covi Brannan

Across the state of California, public schools are facing a huge budget crisis. In order to address the budgetary shortfall, drastic cuts have already been made in music and visual and performing arts, and more are being considered. Many people think this is a logical place to make cuts because they believe that the arts contribute little to students’ academic success. Still others take the opposite view; they believe that arts instruction is vital to formal education. When interviewed about the option to cut visual and performing arts programs in South Bay schools, residents were opposed to the idea of eliminating arts education, though their reasons differed.

“I believe arts education is very important because at a young age, children need the opportunity to see and try new things. I believe the arts help with math, creative ideas and help you put your ideas on paper.” — Theresa Kadlic, parent of two American Martyrs School students in Manhattan Beach

“I believe the arts are crucial to a well-rounded education. Creativity is very useful in all aspects of education, and art helps this creativity grow strong. The arts boost problem-solving abilities and build self-esteem, which can be applied to all different subjects.” — Zen Del Rio, art teacher at Rolling Hills Country Day School

“I believe the arts are very important. Art classes help children who have difficulty expressing themselves through writing and should be available as an option for academics. I work with special education kids, which is just another form of intelligence, and the arts help them to express themselves in a nontraditional way. Also, the joy students get from the arts is extremely rewarding.” — Rosalyn Cusik, employee of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District and school psychologist at Grandview and Pennekamp

“I think dance is really important because kids express themselves in different ways. Also, my dancing sometimes helps with more academic subjects too; in ballet, I learn about history and body alignment that can help me understand some concepts used in math and science.” — Courtney Connor, 7th grader at MBMS

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