I received the e-mail below on state school superintendent candidate Beth Farokhi’s arts platform. I found it interesting because there has been very little discussion of arts education in this election season.
I think most parents assume unhappily that there just isn’t money for the arts any longer. With the exception of the outcry in Fulton over the loss of elementary school orchestra and band, I have not seen much protest of arts program cuts elsewhere. When systems are talking about slicing weeks from the class calendar, I assume parents aren’t going to take to the streets over whether there is chorus or drama.
In the few superintendent candidate debates, the arts never came up in a substantive way. I do think arts programs are important, especially in low-income areas where parents can’t afford to send their children to private music lessons or drama camp.
But why aren’t we talking about it more?
This e-mail is from singer/songwriter Elise Witt, who often conducts musical workshops/performances in schools. This is an excerpt from her e-mail on behalf of Dr. Farokhi:
Dear Friends of Arts Education:
In less than a week, next Tuesday, July 20th, to be exact, you will be making a very important decision. A decision that will deeply impact our children and every student in the state of Georgia. You will be voting for the next State School Superintendent. There are a few good candidates running, and they have the credentials and experience for the office, but only one has a public platform on arts education – Beth Farokhi.
Over the years, we have fought to keep arts education in our schools – two years ago we fought to keep the arts as a part of the graduation requirements. We continue, even today, our efforts to have an arts education specialist at the Georgia Department of Education. I think it important to note that this position has been vacant for over a decade, during which we have experienced a steady decline in arts education, in our schools. It reminds me of the saying – if you are not at the table, you are on the table.
We, as parents and educators, understand the great importance that arts play in the development of the whole child.
Now we have a candidate who believes as we do, and who has made a public stand for arts education. Her name is Beth Farokhi. Visit Beth’s website and read her platform on arts education.
Now, you must do your due diligence, in finding a candidate that fits your educational philosophy. I hope that you will find, as I have, that Beth fits your beliefs as well.