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SCOE Joins Statewide Visual and Performing Arts Education Planning Effort

Project Funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Children at table, drawing

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) will join a collaborative effort to develop a statewide infrastructure focused on embedding visual and performing arts into the school curriculum.

"We will work with the education community, the business community, the arts community, and parents to begin a systemic approach — on both the state and local levels — to bringing the arts into the classroom at every grade level," Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon said. "Our students deserve to have the arts as part of their daily studies."

SCOE is one of 14 county offices of education throughout the state that will participate in the statewide program, called the Arts Education Initiative. The effort is coordinated by the
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) with a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Counties will begin by gathering information on what is currently available in schools and what is needed to provide quality arts education programs.

"This grant recognizes Sacramento County's work to date in arts education. It enables the County Office to work with districts in the county and the region to bring arts education back as an essential element of a comprehensive curriculum," said Dr. Glen Thomas, CCSESA Executive Director.

Although there is existing research and broad public support for arts education in public schools, reduced funding, combined with an emphasis on a more focused curriculum, has led to the exclusion of arts programs in many schools.

The initiative's goal is to develop and implement a countywide arts education plan in collaboration with the education, arts, and business communities, providing access to the arts for all students. In addition, a statewide infrastructure will be developed to assist with arts advocacy and education in schools.

Arts Requirements in Education

  • The California Education Code requires that schools or districts provide arts instruction for all students in grades one through twelve.
    [State Visual & Performing Arts Frameworks and Standards]
  • Coursework in the arts and/or a foreign language is required for high school graduation.
  • Both California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC) require a minimum of one year of study in one of the arts for admission to their 33 universities in California.