I have great news for Henry Barigian and everyone else in Fresno who understands that the arts are essential to education. In his letter [Oct. 25], Mr. Barigian suggested, with tongue in cheek I'm sure, that we use revenues from slot machines to fund arts programs in the schools.
The state Legislature has just enacted a historic bill granting the largest single expenditure for the arts ever recorded. A $500 million one-time block grant (which will also benefit physical education) and a $105 million ongoing block grant will go a long way to restoring the arts in our schools.
These funds may be used by school districts to hire credentialed arts teachers and to purchase books, materials, and supplies for the arts. Can you imagine how many violins and tubas that money will buy for California kids? Not to mention dance floors, pottery kilns, play scripts and choral music?
Now, it is up to schools and school districts to create a comprehensive plan for arts education to reach every kid, in every school, every day.
And to think, we may be able to do it without the help of one-armed bandits!
Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator
Fresno County Office of Education