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On Monday, April 15th, PPS Superintendent Carole Smith proposed a $487 million budget for the 2013-14 school year. This proposal marks a pivotal moment for Portland schools in that it checks the erosion of educational programs that has shadowed current students nearly every year that they have attended school. And the passage of the Arts Education & Access Fund by Portland voters in November was credited as significant factor in this turnaround.
“Thanks to the voters of this city, the arts tax will fund 45.5 arts teachers in our K5 and K8 schools ensuring that every student has access to visual arts, dance, music or theater in grades K5. Research has demonstrated the academic benefits for students who participate in the arts. We know that across the country there has been a persistently inequitable distribution of arts in schools. Our city has helped to eliminate this gap in service. Thank you again.”
This year, PPS is the only school district of the six districts in Portland with elementary schools that offer no access to instruction in art, music, dance or drama. With Superintendent Smith’s proposed budget for 2013-14, that gap will be eliminated while access to the arts for every K5 student will increase.
Thank you, Portland, for your vote to restore arts education to Portland’s public elementary schools!
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Each year, Portland City Council invites the Regional Arts & Culture Council to make a report on the State of the Arts in Portland. This is our annual opportunity to pack the chambers of City Hall with hundreds of supporters while we showcase the importance of arts, culture and creativity for Portland’s economy, livability and the education of our children. It is also our moment to shine as we inspire City Council with meaningful and powerful performances and testimony by artists, educators, advocates and employers. We hope you will join us as we support the important work of the Regional Arts & Culture Council and advocate for the arts in every Portland classroom and community. Let’s fill City Council Chambers. RSVP@RACC.org
Portland’s Arts Education & Access Fund $35 Income Tax is due May 15th
Last November, 62% of voters approved a groundbreaking new funding mechanism for arts education and access in our community. As a result, every public Portland elementary school will have an art or music teacher next year, and the remaining funds will be distributed by RACC to nonprofit arts organizations and schools that are actively increasing everyone’s access to the arts.
You are responsible for paying this income tax of $35 by May 15th if all of the following are true:
- You are 18 or older
- You lived in the City of Portland for any part of 2012
- You had income of $1,000 or more in 2012
- Your household is above the poverty level
To help save costs to raise as much revenue as possible for arts education and access, pay your tax online at www.artstax.net. Exemption forms are also available online.
To those who have already paid: Thank You! Portland’s six school districts and the Regional Arts & Culture Council are looking forward to putting your investments into action.