Crossover Day

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Arts in Education vs. funding Special Education

Laura,

I was just listening to your March 31st show and there was a caller on who works in the arts with students in schools. You asked him about the debate of whether money should first be spent on children with disabilities or the arts in education. I work in an elementary school that values the arts and has a large population of children who have disabilities. I can tell you from personal experience that they go hand in hand. Children with disabilities learn and grow from arts in education just as much if not more than any other child. Funding the arts in education is for all students it is not an either or situation.

Thanks for the discussion.

Cheryl Lampron

Dissolving NHSCA by amendment

You get the picture Cheryl. Amen sister! That caller was me and as I was trying to make this exact point and several others. I consider kids to be some of NH's most vulnerable citizens. The false antagonism and either/or scenarios posed between service to kids (or adults) with disabilities vs. funding arts in education are ridiculous.

A young woman I worked with who uses a talking tablet device in class wrote a poem and used her machine to share it with the class. Some teachers and non-disabled peers were wowed! They had no idea about her creativity or inventiveness until she was invited to share her poem. They had made certain assumptions about her abilities in the past because she doesn't walk or speak. These assumptions were all called into question when this student was invited to participate and used her poetic voice.

I also want to make it clear the my work teaching poetry in the NH public schools is a labor of love and not an income by any stretch of the imaginations. As I mentioned on-air, I've made about $3,000 in the last 11 years. So I wasn't complaining that my "job" would be cut (in the "poets vs. wheelchairs... which shall we fund?" scenario that Laura was raising).

I was sharing that for the paltry $317 THOUSAND from NH's General Fund that runs the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts (and arts-in-ed as a minor component of that), we as a state leverage $32 MILLION in federal, state, and local matches, private donations, in-kind contributions and arts-economy related dough. I say spend a penny and get a thousand-fold return! These dollars involve millions of people (among them NH citizens, summer people, and tens of thousands of NH public school students) with the fine and performing arts, state-wide. Dissolving the NHSCA in particular by amendment is nuts educationally and fiscally irresponsible to boot.

Rick Agran
Arts In Education Roster
NH State Council on the Arts

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