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6 months later, LA schools' arts plan still has no budget

The cast of
The cast of "East Los High" poses for a photo during an event unveiling the final bus installment on Tuesday, July 23 at the Grove for the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education's #ArtsMatter project. The project helped fundraise for arts education in LAUSD.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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Six months have come and gone since the Los Angeles Unified School District released its new plan for arts education. A detailed funding strategy for the plan was due July 1, but the district has yet to release it.

The budget requirement was put in place by former board member Nury Martinez through the Arts at the Core Resolution. The school board voted to support it back in October 2012. 

Now, school board member Steve Zimmer is pushing to reform arts education in the district. Zimmer has requested Superintendent John Deasy report on the arts plan budget at the next school board meeting in January, according to his Deputy Chief of Staff Claudia Vizcarra.

LAUSD officials have said they are working on funding for the plan. Some teachers say they've seen few changes since it was announced in July. 

"No one knows where the money is going or how much money there is," said LAUSD traveling music teacher Eloise Porter.

She believes arts education in the district has gotten worse, not better, since the plan was launched in July.

"The administration is destroying arts programs in the elementary levels and also the secondary levels," Porter said.

The teacher, who is also president of Los Angeles City Elementary School Music Association, was among a group of teachers who met with Zimmer on Monday. Among the topics they discussed was a midyear decision by LAUSD officials to relocate several traveling teachers to different schools.

That decision means some year-long arts programs will be abruptly canceled, so that students at other schools in the district can have access to the arts instruction. Teachers say they learned of this decision just days before winter break, leaving little time to explain to students what was happening.

Follow the Pass/Fail blog for more on Los Angeles Unified's arts education plans in 2014.