Advocacy Update!

After years of effort from Baltimore City arts education advocates, Baltimore City Public Schools adopted the 2017 Baltimore Arts Education Strategic Plan to ensure every student has access to the arts in every school. In February 2019, the district changed school budget guidance requiring all students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 8th to provide Visual Art and Music, taught by a certified arts teacher. 

This change to budget guidance represents a MAJOR step toward meeting state regulations¬†and¬†doing right by Baltimore’s children and youth. Stay tuned for more exciting updates from the Baltimore Arts Education Initiative!

Read the full budget guidance statement below: 

New Fine Arts Budget Guidance

  • Per COMAR, all schools with grades PreK – 8 must provide an instructional program in fine arts each year for all students, taught be certified fine arts teachers, which includes access to the fine art forms of visual art, music, dance, theatre, and media arts.
  • Beginning in FY20, City Schools will begin prioritizing the hiring of certified fine arts teachers in multiple arts disciplines at each school in order to meet the new COMAR fine arts requirements. The above chart should be used when making fine arts staffing allocations. When creating new full time employees, schools should prioritize adding visual art and music before other fine art content areas.
  • Schools may employ the services of a fine arts vendor only after retaining the services of certified arts teachers to the levels indicated in the chart above. Schools that wish to employ the services of fine arts vendors must demonstrate that their certified fine arts teacher(s) are able to provide comprehensive and sequential fine arts instruction to all students each year. Vendor services are only permitted to supplement the schools existing fine arts instructional program. Vendors are not permitted to be listed as “the teacher of record” and may not award grades.
  • All schools with grades 9-12 must offer fine arts instructional programs in grades 9-12 which shall enable students to meet graduation credit requirements and to select fine arts electives, taught by certified arts teachers. 

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