Illinois funding of schools has long been woefully inadequate, and now the pandemic has made school finances even more challenging due to flat state funding and increased costs as schools struggle to provide online learning for all students or supplies for in-person classes. When school budgets get tight, the arts are often among the first things cut. Recently, National PTA partnered with Americans for the Arts to create the ArtsEd Leader’s Guide to help PTAs advocate for the arts at their school and in their district.

The arts are a critical element of a quality education, and every student deserves the opportunity to take part in the arts. By participating in the arts, students develop the critical thinking, collaboration, and creative skills needed for success in the modern workplace. The arts can also play an important role in keeping students engaged in their education.

With the threat of cuts to the arts looming in so many school districts, National PTA worked with Americans for the arts to develop a guide for PTA advocacy for arts education. The guide teaches PTA leaders to:

  • Start a PTA ArtsEd Committee at your school
  • Engage more families and build stronger community partnerships
  • Lead improvements to arts education programs, practices, and policies

The guide walks PTA leaders through each step of creating effective advocacy for arts education. You will learn how to:

  1. Build your ArtsEd action team, including who to ask to serve on the team so that your entire school and community are represented.
  2. Assess your ArtsEd program and family engagement, including questions to ask school administrators and teachers, evaluating your school-community arts partnerships, determining what your school district’s ArtsEd policies are, and assessing the health of the arts in your school based on what you’ve learned.
  3. Develop your ArtsEd action plan, including how to use National PTA’s Standards for Family-School Partnerships to create a truly transformative plan.
  4. Evaluate your ArtsEd action plan at the end of the year to determine what worked and how you can further expand and support arts education at your school.

Don’t let your child miss out on the arts. Download the ArtsEd Leader’s Guide and begin planning your PTA’s advocacy efforts today.