ArtsEd Washington Launches Statewide School Board Candidate Survey
Community Advocates to Engage School Board Candidates
on Arts Education
SEATTLE – As voters across the state cast their ballots in today’s Washington state primary election, ArtsEd Washington is putting the arts at the top of the agenda for school board contenders.
To educate parents and the community on where their school board candidates stand on the arts – defined by federal law as a “core academic subject” and included in the definition of basic education in Washington state – ArtsEd Washington is launching its School Board Candidate Survey on Arts Education, helping further advance the arts education conversation and prepare voters for the coming fall school board elections.
“Many people don’t realize the influence that school board directors have on the quality of education that children in their districts receive,” says Una McAlinden, ArtsEd Washington Executive Director. “It’s extremely important that voters know where their school board candidates stand on providing the quality arts learning that will arm our students with crucial 21st century capacities like creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking.”
With hundreds of Washington school board positions up for election this fall, ArtsEd Washington hopes the survey will empower voters with vital information on the school board leaders who are committed to providing the high quality, sequential arts learning that every student deserves and that the law requires.
Specifically, the survey will offer an invaluable opportunity for candidates to share their thoughts and understanding about the importance and provision of arts education with an engaged community. That in turn will empower voters to make informed decisions about their candidates as they cast their ballots this fall. It will also provide vital information to incoming directors — many of whom may still be learning about the role that arts education can play in the success of their schools and students — on the expectations of both the law and their communities regarding arts education.
To help solicit the candidates’ views, ArtsEd Washington has reached out to a statewide community of concerned education and arts advocates, encouraging them to contact their school board candidates and request that those candidates complete the arts education survey. Responses will be compiled and made available through ArtsEd Washington’s website – www.artsedwashington.org.
Mary Jane Glaser, longtime School Director in the Tahoma School District, supports this critical initiative. “Education leaders, as responsible representatives of their community members’ values, welcome opportunities to acquaint themselves with their constituents’ expectations for a comprehensive education for all students that includes the arts.”
ArtsEd Washington is also working with numerous statewide and local partners to spread the word about the survey including the Washington State PTA, Artist Trust, Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA), Washington State Arts Alliance, Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and 4Culture. The goal is to enlist multiple individuals – coined “smARTS Champions” – for each district in the state to engage their local candidates broadly on the issue of arts education and specifically asking them to take the candidate survey.
The public can learn more about the School Board Candidate Survey on Arts Education by visiting www.artsedwashington.org.
About ArtsEd Washington
ArtsEd Washington is a nonprofit organization devoted to advancing and increasing arts education in K-12 schools. We work to ensure that all students in Washington State have access to a complete education that includes the arts: dance, music, theatre, and visual art. We believe the only equitable way to reach every student is to teach the arts at school, during school hours, as part of their complete education. www.artsedwashington.org.