Sunday, March 18, 2012

Let's Protect the Arts, Health and more...

Dear ISEA Fine Arts Caucus Members,

As many of you already know, Representative Winckler (D-86) introduced an amendment to the Education Reform Act that was supported by Representative Chambers (R-5) that removed the expansion of the Iowa Core to include the performing/fine arts. Dr. Glass was not consulted before the change and believed the concern of the legislators was that if we added fine arts (and other components) to the Core, everything would be required for every student.

A substantial amount of work has been done to elevate the fine arts as core in the state of Iowa. A history prior to the formation of the task force to discuss the arts in the Iowa core can be found at and a history/current status of the arts in Iowa can be found at .This action by the House ignores the work of many colleagues throughout the state.

Although the House vote keeps the core "as is" in terms of its present configuration, it would allow the DE to develop and present to the legislature a complete plan on expanding the Core that the legislature could consider in the next session. Many of us believe that although this is encouraging, we should not wait until next session and we should take action in this session.

We need more than a ceremonial recognition, we know that the arts are at risk and we need to be recognized as core.

I would like to propose that we take the following plan of action:

(1) each of you write both Representative Winckler and Representative Chambers and your own representative to let them that the arts are essential and that we are terribly disappointed in their decision and we encourage them to reconsider this decision. This becomes very important if the Senate version includes the arts and the bill moves on to a conference committee. The addresses to representatives can be found here:

(2) each of you write your senator and Senator Gronstal to let them know that arts educators have done a great deal of work to move in this direction and that we want fine/performing arts to be core. The addresses to senators can be found here:

(3) copy, paste and send this to arts colleagues and educators that you know and ask them to join the cause.

Please let me know if there is any other information that you need and if you plan on assisting us in this important cause. We hope that you can at least share the information with arts colleagues, your arts organizations and within your building/district.


Tom McLaughlin,
NEA Fine Arts Caucus Chair --School, --Home
712.366.8322 --School, 712.326.8557 --Cell