Arts Education at Fillmore Under Attack — Again!


 

Washington, D.C.’s public school system is once again attacking music, art and drama, and threatening to take away the very programs that kept thousands of families in the city to send their kids to public school. Showing a lack of support for arts education and furthering the squeeze on five overcrowded schools, DCPS is proposing to cut all funding from its 2016-17 school year budget for Fillmore Art Center. Fillmore provides arts education to more than 1,700 students from three wards and will be forced to close if DCPS has its way.

Students from Key, Ross, Marie Reed, Hyde-Addison and Stoddert elementary schools attend Fillmore for a half-day each week to receive arts education. If funding for Fillmore is not restored, the popular and much-loved arts center will close, making it impossible to provide this invaluable, enriching arts education.

Each of those schools is currently over capacity and/or in transition without permanent space. Fillmore provides an off-site dedicated location for arts education and allows the schools to pool their resources, ensuring high-quality arts programming that could not be replicated within any one school. 

DCPS has taken no steps to prepare the families for Fillmore’s dismantling. There is no realistic plan or contingency for arts education that would even come close to the quality instruction the children receive at Fillmore.   

DCPS should be working to fix things in the system that are broken — not cutting programs that are proven and successful for schools that are already enrolled well beyond their capacity. The Fillmore partnership is effective and cost efficient. DCPS is unfairly penalizing the kids and parents from these schools.

The children who attend Fillmore deserve a well-rounded education, just like every other student in the city. If DCPS wants to encourage families to keep their kids in its schools, they need to stop playing slash-and-grab with the cost-effective programs that work.

Please help us say no to DCPS’s latest efforts, by visiting www.friendsoffillmore.org for more information.

John Claud is the president of Friends of Fillmore Arts Center.

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