December 21, 2015

Deficit Mitigation Agreement Reached

On December 1, 2015 the legislature passed a $350 million state budget deficit mitigation agreement. The Governor had proposed a plan that included drastic cuts to the arts sector (eliminating all line item allocations to arts and culture organizations), but the approved legislative plan made less severe, across-the-board-cuts of 5% to the arts grants in the Arts Office budget as well as direct service agreements. These cuts fall on the heels another 5% rescission made by Governor earlier in the fall.

DECD cuts can be found on pgs.  7- 10 of the bill
https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/TOB/s/pdf/2015SB-01601-R00-SB.pdf

Good News for Arts Education
On December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law by President Obama, replacing No Child Left Behind. This new law is a victory for arts education retaining the arts as a “core academic subject”  This definition has been critical to helping bring time and resources to arts education in schools—and help close the gaps in access to a complete education for every child that includes the arts. Additionally the law includes the following provisions:

Dedicated funding for arts education through the “Assistance for Arts Education” grant program
Inclusion of the arts in the “Well-Rounded Education” definition with over a dozen references in the bill ensuring, among other things, that the arts continue to be eligible for Title I funds—the largest federal funding source to local educational agencies and schools.
Integration of the arts in STEM programs – recognized in the field as “STEM to STEAM”

Connecticut Arts Day planned for March 2, 2016
The Connecticut Office of the Arts, in partnership with the Connecticut Arts Alliance and our 9 regional service organizations, are planning to bring back Connecticut Arts Day at the Capitol on March 2nd, 2016. The last time this event took place was in 2002! Anyone interested in our Arts and Cultural Sector are invited to attend Arts Day to celebrate and underscore the importance of investing in Connecticut’s Arts and Cultural landscape to our legislators.

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