Several years ago Kansans were sure things couldn’t get any worse after the school board redrafted its classification of science, effectively providing “intelligent design” as a viable alternative to evolution in public schools. Luckily, logic has ruled the day and since then the classification has been reversed. Just when Kansans were able to hold their heads high, a new political embarrassment has occurred: Governor Sam Brownback intends to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission. If that happens, Kansas will be the only state in the nation without an Arts Commission.
Although Brownback argues that this is a necessary budget cut, the Kansas Art Commission states that eliminating the commission is fiscally irresponsible. Not only will the state lose nearly $800,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts, it will also lose just over $400,000 in partnership money from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Also at risk: the many private and public sector jobs supported by the funding.
The biggest losers, however, are the children. The many programs and organizations funded by the Kansas Arts Commission will no longer be able to keep their doors open. Add that to the number of art programs being cut in the public school systems, the youth of Kansas will be at a distinct disadvantage as they continue through higher-learning programs. Kansans aren’t the only ones faced with arts education cutbacks. It’s happening all over the country. The above infographic illustrates a selection of facts from http://www.dosomething.org advocating the benefits of arts programs in schools.