- New York City 07/01/2014 by Linda Perry (WBAI)
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
New York City is allocating $23 million for arts education in the upcoming school year.
The funding is part of the budget approved by the City Council last week. It covers Fiscal Year 2015, which began yesterday.
Administration officials say arts funding has been reduced dramatically in recent years. Mayor de Blasio says the investment will help children in "school and in life."
"For so many young people, their coming of age, their moment of awareness, their moment of really believing in themselves and locking into their overall academic path, came through arts and culture."
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer applauds the allocation of moneys for the arts. She released a new report today called Arts Forward.
"And it says two things. It says one, that the survey that the Department of Education does needs to be more specific into how it helps arts. On the other hand, to the credit of the Chancellor and the Mayor, they're giving $23 million to work on it."
Brewer took a proactive approach to looking at arts education in Manhattan schools.
"What we did was we called every school in Manhattan that doesn't have an arts teacher or an arts program to find out why and what could be done. We found eleven schools have neither. So what we're going to do is bring together all the schools in Manhattan and all the arts programs, and we're going to give funding to a couple of schools, because that's what we have money for, to enhance their arts programs."
The Manhattan Borough President's report looks at ways to close the gaps at the City’s public schools and improve funding formulas. She says more needs to be done to raise the prominence of arts in middle schools and integrate arts education with English Language Learner (ELL) programming.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said the City will hire 120 new arts teachers. And it will rehabilitate dilapidated arts facilities in dozens of schools throughout New York City.